Today was my first day back at work with no more summer vacation time to look forward to. The new house is almost done (just enough "done" to be moved into) and school starts day after tomorrow. Since we're still kinda moving in and there is no real structure to anyone's time, the day ends up being a chaotic, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of day. In the midst of it the kids were arguing with one another, making mess all over and being quite disobedient and rude to their parents and myself.
At one point I had the opportunity to talk with one of the kiddos about their previous response to their at wit's end mother. I explained to him why she was frustrated by him and we visited though the situation from her perspective. At the beginning of the summer I would have asked him, "What are the fruits of the spirit? Which ones could you have practiced in that situation?" (By the way, he loves reciting Galatians 5:22-23.) So today I naturally asked the same question. My heart sunk when he looked at me blankly. He had forgotten.
The same thing happened earlier today when I was disciplining his sister.
I thought about these two circumstances as I drove home. I prayed for their young souls, for the teachers at their school, and that the Lord will soon draw them to Himself. I am thankful for their school's influence and the way that God has allowed them to attend and learn there.
The more I thought, the more I realized how their environment has fostered their little hearts. They came off of 9 months with a Christian teacher, assistant teacher, and mostly Christian staff at school in general. They had chapel once a month, learned worship songs, had memory verses. They were basically saturated in the gospel five days a week. Then they went into a summer of foreign travel, 24 hours with one another, in a non-believing home and no church. Though disheartening, this is the reality of their surroundings.
How careful we have to be with our own souls. When we get out of the habit: out of the influence of other Christians, out from under the teaching of the Word, out of the habit of meditating and memorizing Scripture, we, too, will fall. There are too many distractions and we are too weak. The words of Hebrews 10 really came alive to me today. We too soon and too easily lose sight of our precious Savior and His work on the cross. May we be sobered by the reality that the only thing that separates us from the unregenerate is God's grace.
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