Sunday, April 29, 2012

Potty Training the Disciples

On the mommy side of things potty training is tough. And messy. And exasperating at times. Since I've been doing my business in the commode for quite some time now, it's beyond me how something so simple (and so sanitary) just isn't clicking for my 2-year-old. How could he not know how to do it? And when he does do it, why does he not keep doing it? Why doesn't he get it?!

I had a moment the other day that I'm sure any mother of a potty trained toddler has experienced. I asked him if he had to potty. He said yes. He sat on the potty. Nothing happened. He left the bathroom. He cleared out the linen closet. He closed the door. He opened the door. He said, "all wet in there." We changed his underwear. Again.

After he went on his merry way I sat in the bathroom feeling so frustrated, just asking the Lord to give me the grace to love my son well. I knew he wasn't trying to pee everywhere but the toilet. I knew he wanted to do what mommy was asking him to. But something just wasn't computing for him, and I was left following him around with paper towels, a spray bottle, and a headache.

But, as is often the case, God gave me so much more than the grace I was asking for. He gave me a clue.

In Bible study we have been working our way through the gospel of John. It has been so refreshing just to look at the Jesus that we claim to know, to study his words and his actions, and to discuss what they show us about the Christ that came as the Savior of the world. Keeping a pretty rapid pace, I've been able to notice some things that have either escaped my attention before, or that I just didn't realize the significance of. One of those things is the faith of the disciples. John's stated purpose for writing that book is found in John 20:31. "These things are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you might have life in His name." Everything that is included in the book is intended to solidify faith in who Jesus was and what He came to do. But the disciples just.didn't.get it.

It's amazing to me how often they would say to each other, "What does he mean?" or "We don't know what he's talking about." And Jesus says to them (more than once), "Do you still not understand?" How is it possible that, after He recently fed five thousand people, they still ask, "How are we going to feed them all?" How can they not get it?!

And then there's me. How can I read the Bible, do the studies, talk about it, teach about it, sing songs with my sons about it, and still not get it?

As I sat there on the edge of the bathtub, sighing about another puddle to clean, asking that God would help me be gracious as my son learned what was right, I became very, very aware of Christ's patience with his chosen disciples and the Lord's continued grace toward me. And I was so grateful for the verses that we read this week:  

Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.” “You believe at last!" Jesus answered.

They got it! They finally, truly got it! Since I am eagerly awaiting that day when I know my son really gets it, I have a small sense of the delight that must have brought to Jesus.

After all, I'm just cleaning up tiny messes of a two-year-old. He was cleaning up the sin of the entire world. Praise God for His grace during the training period.