The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 2:22-23)
What do kids need to know about faithfulness? Most kids, especially young ones, are faithful by nature.
I forget to give them the special treat for dessert. They forgive me.
I lose my temper and yell at them. They forgive me.
I tell them I'm going to play with them in a minute, but get caught up in a phone call that lasts a lot longer. They forgive me.
Not only do they FORGIVE, but they trust that I'm going to come through next time.
We're on vacation visiting family and friends, and one evening Aly was having a difficult time accepting that it was bedtime. I was being so patient, calmly talking to her about how her body needed sleep, and not to worry that everyone was going to sleep soon and that everyone would still be there the next day to play and have lots of fun. But she came out of the bedroom again, and my patience ran out, and I quickly picked her up, put her in the bed, and said that I was going to lay next to her for only a few minutes and then she'd need to sleep. After a minute or two she said, "Mommy. You picked me up roughly. That was rude. Why did you do that?" I then apologized, admitting it was a little rough, talking about how mommy was losing her patience, and then asked her to forgive me. She said she couldn't yet, but that she would in a little bit. She ended up falling asleep and the next day it was like everything was new. No hard feelings. No reservations. No unforgiveness. Just faith that mom was going to take care of her. Faith that mommy wasn't mad at her. Faith that today was a new day and she had a clean slate.
While I KNOW that God is faithful to us, sometimes I don't act like I believe it. It normally happens something like this:
- I have a bad week where I let my anger or bitterness get the best of me.
- Then, something bad happens, circumstantially, not related to this anger or bitterness. Maybe we don't get a job we interviewed for. Or one of us gets real sick. Or I feel discouraged by a lack of opportunity to do something I really want to do.
- I begin to wonder- has God forgotten about me? Is He withholding good things from me because I messed up? Did God give up on me?
- I then begin to doubt the reality that God is faithful to us even when we mess up...that He faithfully loves us even when we are unloveable.