The Love of a Momma Bear

“And He could bear Israel’s misery no longer.”

Judges 10:16

As a momma bear, I have been tested so many times by my boys. Testing me to my limits on certain occasions. And to them it was either funny or they knew this time mom wasn’t having it.

I mean, seriously, those boys knew how to push my buttons! I’d often wonder, do they want to see me explode? Do they even care if I get upset or what consequences would come from their actions?

And it was always Israel and Matt. They never failed to break something, end up in trouble in school, or getting busted torturing their little brother. Going to Walmart or Target was always a challenge. At some point there would always, and I mean always without hesitation, be a trip to the bathroom where I would give them that final “behave or else” speech. Then walk out all calm, cool and collected, smiling as if all was well with the Bocanegra boys.

I would find myself feeling so defeated. Beat down by my children. Was I such a bad mom that I couldn’t control them? Was I such a horrible person because discipline seemed to be my only resort? And even after being disciplined they’d go right back to what I specifically told them not to do.

I remember doing the whole “I’m counting to 3” thing with Matt one day. It was such an effective method with Israel but Matt on the other hand had a totally different response. I started my countdown and what happened next? I said 1. And before I got to 2, Matt finished the countdown for me and just laughed.

I mean, come on!

Sitting here this morning reading through the book of Judges, I totally understood how God felt with the Israelites. Here He is constantly correcting their ways. Disciplining them for their wrong doings. Bailing them out of the trouble they alone got themselves into.

I can just imagine how God must have felt. Tired. Frustrated. Ready to just give up on them. Here He gives them everything they could want and yet it never seemed enough to them.

I used to feel this very same way. So why was it so hard for the boys to be obedient versus the mischievous boys pulling the grey out of my head?

Despite all their antics and numerous broken windows and front door glass, I never once stopped loving them. I’d punish them and leave their room so broken hearted. I’d take away their games and ground them for a few days but that never lasted the full term. Why? Because my compassion and understanding far outweighed whatever they had done. The love of a momma bear saw past all their wrong doings.

I see God this very same way. In the book of Judges, we see the countless times God sent someone to rescue the Israelites from their disobedience which resulted in their oppression. We see God’s tenderness and forgiving heart. Judges 10:16 says, “and He could bear Israel’s misery no longer.”

God never wants to see us suffering and hurting. Even if we are the cause of this suffering. God’s compassion is far greater than we could ever fathom. It goes beyond the compassion we have for others. God’s heart aches to see us in pain. He gives us the opportunity to surrender to Him. To ask for His forgiveness. To find redemption in His forgiving heart. God is so merciful that He takes our every wrong and forgives us. Giving us a clean slate to start over with.

It’s such a beautiful thought to know that God takes us in our brokenness and puts every piece right back where it belongs. And in our mischievous disobedient ways, He stands confidently waiting for us to come to Him asking for His forgiveness. And when we do, He doesn’t turn His back or walk away from us. He opens His arms and pulls us right in, just the way I would hold onto my boys.

My boys may have challenged me as they were growing up, but none of what they did or could do would ever change my love for them.

The same applies with God. My dear friend, there is no sin too great that He won’t forgive. And He holds no record when we come to Him. This is how we know God’s heart has an undying love for every one of us. And it’s this love that redeems us from our wrongs.

XOXO…Ileen

psst…God Loves You

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