But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. (John 6:36-37)
Relate: I don’t have children of my own so it is difficult for me to judge, but very few things annoy me more than seeing bad parenting in action. I remember one time when I was a waiter where a mother let her kids get mountain dew… and refills… and more refills. By the end of the dinner these kids were climbing all over things, practically swinging from the rafters, and the mom turned to me and said, “I don’t know what’s gotten into these boys.” I wanted to say, “I know what got into them. Four 20 oz glasses of mountain dew each.” I kept my mouth shut because if she isn’t smart enough to figure that out on her own, she probably wouldn’t be too receptive to my help.
Last time I was at Walmart, that paragon of human excellence at its best, I happened to be standing behind a mother with her daughter who was about five. The mom was wearing a fashionable shirt, nice jeans, earrings, a necklace, a stylish haircut. She obviously spent a lot of time, effort and money to look nice. Her daughter was in what looked like fourth generation hand me down pajama outfit that hadn’t been washed anytime in the past year. Her hair was unwashed, snarled and going every which way. Perhaps she was just a descendant of Einstein. Anyways, this little girl was tapping her mother’s side trying to show her something or say something. Over and over again you can hear her, “Mom… mom… mom, look at this. Mom… mom…” In the meantime the poor girl’s mother was chatting away on her phone talking about some party she had been to. After enough persistence the mom finally acknowledged her daughter’s existence. She put her hand over the phone, looked down, and said, “Not now. Mommy’s on the phone.”
Maybe in these instances, I just caught normal families at what happened to be a bad moment. I am more likely to believe it of the first situation. Even though she pretty much ignored them once they were there, and cluelessly let them drown in sugar and caffeine, at least she was taking her boys out to eat. Maybe she was just having a rough day. Maybe they never have soda at home and so she has no idea how big an impact that much mountain dew would have on young kids. But that second situation… some people have no business being parents.
React: God will never ignore us. As long as we are on this earth, He will never reject us or turn us away. The only reason we cannot approach Him is because we chose not to. Anytime we come to God, He meets with us. Even as I write this, however, my mind objects, “Wait a minute. My sin keeps me from God.” Yes. It does. My sin keeps me from Him. Not Him from me. The way sin works in my life, is that it causes me to draw away from Him. When I sin, I lose the desire to come to Him. I become fearful that He might find out (as if He didn’t already know). Or I become overwhelmed by doubt and feel unworthy to come to Him. Or I want to “fix myself” first and then come to Him. Whatever the reason, sin separates me from God and tries to keep me separated.
The truth of the matter is, all I need to do to restore that relationship, all I need to do to make things right, is to come to Him. When I come to Him I will never be rejected. He will never have a headache and be unwilling to listen. He will never be too busy to talk to me and pick me up in His arms. He will never be so upset or disappointed with me that He will turn me away. All of us are undeserving to approach the throne of grace, but every time we do, He will meet us there. We have complete access and the full attention of our Father any and every time we want it.
Respond: Today being mother’s day, it seems perfect that today’s scripture afforded an opportunity to talk about parenting. You can all be as jealous as you want, but I have to say that I’ve got the best parents in the world. My dad checked out early and left us to go chill with God in heaven seventeen years back. He left my mom with six kids at home and two others in college. My mom carried that Atlantean burden of raising the rest of us without, for a moment, shrugging. I have been blessed beyond measure and mom, if you’re reading this, I love you more than words can express.
After spending some time praying for your mom, give her a call today and tell her how awesome she is. She did raise you, didn’t she? If you are a mother, stop reading this and go spend some time with your kids.