The Gift Of Grace
How many times in my motherhood, have I prayed for grace, in dealing with my children! It seemed I could never achieve the level of patience that I so earnestly desired. My adult son left the faucet on last night, after filling up the cows' water trough at dinnertime. This son has tried my patience more than any of my other children. I adopted him at nearly five years old, and he had not had any love, or motherly training. He has ADHD, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He is nearly twenty years old now, and a good helper. He knows very thoroughly to turn off every faucet; still, his mind is like a sparkler, and must have skipped to something else. I went to give Caressa a drink of water around ten, and found that the faucet wouldn't work. Not one drop of water came out. My first thought was the pump, but that wasn't it. I thought back as to who was the last one to use water outside. Going out to see if I could tell what went wrong, I discovered the freeze faucet in the "on" position. A major swamp was in the barnyard, and the well was DRY.
I did not tell him about it until the next morning. I wanted to think it through, and react in a fair way. He didn't mean to. It was surely an accident. But it will be days, or perhaps longer, before we will have water, and then it will likely be muddy for weeks. It has run dry before, but no one has ever run it all out into the yard!
But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed. Job 4:5
I believed that the water would return to the old well yet again. I reminded myself that it was only a big job, and not a big deal.
Faith is the substance of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1-3
When my son was young, I likely would have hollered in exasperation. But God has given me gifts of grace since then. He answered my prayer, and gave me grace for this situation. I thanked my Heavenly Father. To God be the glory, great things He has done!
He ... gives grace to the humble. Proverbs 3:34b
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Philemon 1:25
In the morning, in a quiet voice, I reminded my son about the faucet. I gave him a chore that was a natural consequence, which is the way he learns best. The whole day we all worked hard. He was kept busy hauling water up from the creek in the ravine. There were bottoms to clean, dishes to wash, laundry to do, toilets to flush, dinner to cook. I used the hand washer and wringer, and didn't even rinse the things that would not rub our skin. We made each haul of water last for two washes. As the day progressed, his attitude changed from initital belligerence to remorsefulness. He was able to really understand what the consequences of leaving a faucet on were. He could see that we all had to work harder all day. I believe he will be careful from now on, with that. At four in the afternoon, there were still three quilts to wash, and I decided to wait, and hope the well would fill back up before we had to wash them. I was able to lovingly hug my son for his hard work hauling water.
One of the definitions of grace in the dictionary is clemency. One of its meanings is: "A disposition to show mercy, especially toward an offender ..."
I can vividly remember the many times that God has dealt with me using grace. I did have to bear the natural consequences of my actions. But He forgave my mistakes, and sins. Isn't that the way He would have me deal with my son?
Now I am concentrating on the pioneers. It is always helpful for me to remember - some had to haul water from the creek every single day of their lives. This is not an important problem. No one has died. (That always gets my priorities straight!)
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
© 2004 Rosemary Gwaltney