“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.” – Hosea 10:12
I sat on the edge of his bed, disappointed at how things had gone today. We talked and worked through a misunderstanding. My son had an elaborate plan to ask his girlfriend to prom in the afternoon, and I had assumed he would be home for dinner. Saturday nights are special at our house. My husband cooks these wonderful meals. It is a combination of an act of love and passion for cooking. Through the years it has become a celebration of family time. The last few weeks, my son has had to miss this time with us due to his work schedule and we have missed him dearly.
So tonight when he didn’t come home and decided to eat with his friends, I was sad because I knew the next few Saturday evenings were already occupied in his schedule between a musical production he’s participating in, work and, of course, Prom.
Truthfully, it hurt my feelings. While I know he’s older now and seeks independence by wanting to spend more time with his friends (of course, we allow for that), sometimes as a Mom, I’m jealous coming in second place.
“Jealous.” Is this a normal mom feeling? Did my mom and my husband’s mom ever feel that way? I want my child to grow and become an independent life-engaging adult, so why not be proud when he does?
Because I want time with him, too! Sometimes I want him to choose me.
Then a harsh reality hit me. If I feel this way when I miss my son, does God feel that way when He misses me? Scripture says God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:4-6). I’ve never really liked that description before because it sounds so brattish. The word “jealous” just seems like a petty kind of feeling. However, it is actually a very passionate feeling. A feeling of longing for something or someone so badly your heart aches and your mind is distracted.
That is truly the way I felt tonight. I missed my family being complete and together. I know I have a short while longer with my son being around for family traditions. While I understand giving up some of these traditions, I’m not quite prepared to give them all up.
I think God feels that way about me, too. He is sad when I long for things other than Him. He misses me and longs for me to make the choice to spend time with Him. His jealousy is about passion. The passion behind his love. A pure and perfect love. It grieves Him when I choose other things in front of Him.
My son is growing up and has many choices ahead of Him. I pray for Him daily to honor God, and my desire is for him to honor his parent’s, as well. We just haven’t gotten to a place where he chooses to spend time with us. Sounds like a crazy expectation for a parent of a seventeen year old; even so, as a parent that is still a longing- realistic or not.
This does give me the opportunity though to reflect on my relationship with both my parents and my heavenly Father. Do I just turn to them when I need something? Do I just run to them when life is hard? Or, do I eagerly seek their presence, longing to hear from them, hungry for their friendship?
It’s easy to get distracted in the day to day becoming jealous when things don’t go my way. To get caught up in the excitement of all that is going on around me. I hope this is a lesson, though, of something bigger than a missed meal. I hope the yearnings of my heart will be a seeker of the yearnings of God’s heart.