"The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness" Psalm 103:8"If you're going to continue screaming at me, then go to your room. You will be welcome to come play Play-doh with us when you aren't yelling at me."
That's how I left it. My almost five year old daughter was spent, and Play-doh put her over the edge. Normally, playing with Play-doh makes her world brighter, but today, there she was on edge and needed some room to just vent.
Upon re-entry from her vent-break in her room, my daughter sheepishly approached the kitchen table where her brothers and I were forming squishy turtles and multi-colored snakes.
"What's the matter, Izzie?"
"Mom, I'm afraid to tell you."
"Why, sweetheart? What's the matter?"
"I'm afraid you'll get angry."
"What happened? I promise I will do my best not to get angry."
Still breathing erratically from her crying fit, she sucked in a breath and spewed her confession like a vile and inedible thing: "I said a bad word!"
How could I be angry? Here was my five year old confessing a secret sin to me. Oh, to have such a tender heart as this one.
I drew her close, kissed her, and let out a loving sigh that only mommies make when their babies are close to the breast.
"Izzie, can I pray with you?"
And so we prayed. We thanked the Lord that Izzie was brave enough to confess her sin--her spoken bad word. That Jesus would comfort her heart. And that His Spirit would help her not to say any more bad words.
As it is with the Lord, isn't it? He is compassionate. He is gracious. His anger is slow toward us, especially when we are quick to acknowledge our sin to Him. And His lovingkindness abounds and abounds and abounds. In fact, it's new every morning.
Lord Jesus, Thank you for revealing this moment of growth both for Izzie and for mommy. I give you praise and thanks that you are doing a great work in Izzie's heart and making her more and more aware of her actions and thoughts and words. I give you praise and thanks that you, too, are doing a great work in this mommy's heart--making me more like you, even if it's one moment at a time. Holy Spirit help me be brave to confess my sin and walk in Your strength. In Jesus' name. Amen.