Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Spiritual Adolescence and The Humble Gratitude of Heaven

Children are usually blissfully oblivious to the sacrifices and cost their parents pay to care for them. Financial burdens, emotional tolls, heavy investments of time and energy.

Sometimes a child surprises you with unsolicited recognition and appreciation for costly investment, but most of it goes unnoticed and unappreciated. As parents, we don’t even require that they realize it all. “He’ll never know….” It's the glory of parental love. 

As the child gets older, we do resist the roots of dishonor and entitlement that entangle our teenage soul. Sometimes we resist righteously. Sometimes (read: more often) we rant and rave. Neither strategy can seem to be all that effective. Teenagers are not typically paragons of gratitude and appreciation. 

But if it's happened once, it's happened a thousand times. The take-it-for-granted, frequently disappointed or complainy teenager grows up and becomes a parent. And then so much of the sacrificial love and generosity of their parents come into clearer focus. They begin to see it, and appreciate it. 

This post is not about parents commiserating or rejoicing over these phenomena. Instead, it's an opportunity to see ourselves for the "clueless teens" we are. And then to look ahead to the day when we will finally grow up. One of these days, we’re going to really appreciate all that God has done for us through Christ and by his Spirit!

1 Corinthians 13:12 
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
Until then, we absolutely need to awaken to the megatons of mercy and grace God lavishes us with every day. We most certainly need to cultivate a humble, grateful heart.

Even so, we're still pretty clueless.

But on the Day when we know fully, our newfound and deep experiential knowledge of the Father's love will not be met with chiding and sarcastic parental retorts. "Oh, really! It's about time! Took you long enough!" Oh, no. There will only be a bright smile on the fatherly Face of faces, and there will well up within us deeper joy and humbler gratitude and happier praise than we ever thought possible.

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