Responses to Consequences

I am in South Africa and have a lot of time to reflect.  Pray that I use it well and not in a destructive manner which I am prone to do.  Tough turning off the brain and my ways to shut down aren’t always good.

This week, I’ve been thinking a about consequences and what they mean.  I think that I’ve decided that they don’t “mean” much except that they happen.  Often times, we wish they didn’t, but once a deed is set into motion, consequences just happen.  The key is to not let the consequences take the focus off the choices that we made.
I have to smile when I think about Christopher’s speeding ticket.  This came less than a week after a fender bender for which he was cited.  I remember him asking why, if he does the same things his friends do, does he always get caught.  I gently (or not so) explained that that he made choices and there are consequences.  Why other’s avoided these, I didn’t know, but they are the ones who should be surprised.  In his case, I told him, God was trying to keep him safe and apparently he was a slow learner! 
Isn’t that an interesting thought? How many of us are surprised when we avoid consequences for our choices.  Not the usual response.  Rather, we tend to only be surprised when we are subjected to consequences for bad choices.  We try to rationalize why we shouldn’t be.  In a situation close to me, I’ve heard that someone was “good” and from a “good family”.  Consequences are about the choice, not the person.  They clearly impact the person and hopeful will be used to change behaviors – that is the point of consequences.
In Christopher’s case, I think that not sparing Christopher of consequences was an act of love.  The Bible talks about God only disciplining those He loves.  The purpose of discipline is to teach which is the purpose of consequences.
I would pray that we would see consequences as being allowed by God and not try to be surprised.  I pray that we would turn to Him whether we are spared consequences or have to face them.  For those of us who have a personal relationship with God, through Jesus, we know that either way, it is of God.
Whew – that takes the pressure off to have to figure out what these consequences mean!

2 thoughts on “Responses to Consequences

  1. Anonymous says:

    Judy, Your “Responses to Consequences” brought David to my mind. How does a parent storm the throne of God for a child’s life with prayer, fasting and many tears, and then, when that child is called Home, get up, wash, dress and go about ‘business as usual’? I don’t have an answer…and probably never will this side of Heaven, but David was a man after God’s own heart, and the Lord chose this servant to give us an example of His love for us. Did David never think of his son again? I seriously doubt it. Did he continue to rail against the Father during times of testing and growth in the middle of the Refiner’s fire? You betcha!!!!

    I guess all I’m trying to say is that through the pain of having Christopher physically removed from this earth and your presence, you KNOW that He is still there and in control…the fact that you are living this out in front of so many is a testimony that you will never fully see the impact of.

    Elisabeth Eliot said it best in my estimation….you just ” do the next thing”..whatever that is or whatever it looks like. That has held me together on many occasions…though none that quite holds a candle to your journey.

    Please know you are being prayed for and that those prayers are being heard by the Mediator who translates the ‘words’ into something much more appropriate to the Father. He knows.

    Love you!

  2. Judy,

    So I followed this link to your blog. (I must confess, I didn’t know these things existed) but, I read your entire blog. Every single one. I think it is so amazing that you have poured your heart into this blog and undeniably become vulnerable. Your struggles and triumphs can really help people and I am so glad that I read them. I must also confess that I cried the whole way through. I was trying to figure out what was the source of the emotion and tears. Some people can read the saddest things and not shed a tear. But I realize that you mean a lot to me and I believe that some friendships are divinely appointed.

    Every second that I am with you, I see the love you have for Christopher. I see it in your eyes when you talk about him and I feel it coming from your heart. I wish that I could have met him. I wish that I could have seen you and him together. I wish I could have talked with him and told him “Christopher, you pretty much have the coolest mom ever.” :)I wish so many things. But I also know that God’s plan is the best plan. Even though our minds and hearts are incapable of understanding exactly why things happen the way they do, we can still find trust and hope in God. And you have. You have hope and I can see that.

    I don’t have any children, but I do have some great nieces and one terrific nephew though! But, I heard a mother tell me once, “I don’t have anything to live for except my kids. They make me want to get up in the morning.” She doesn’t know this, but her comment made me cry. It was the most beautiful thing. Judy, your loss is unimaginable. I still believe that being a mother is the biggest job and most important thing a person can do. Well, a woman can do! It’s no easy task, but the hard times and the painful times, will never equal the love a mother feels for her child. I could say to you, “Judy, I don’t know how you do it.” But I think I have an idea. Your belief and love in Christ has filtered through as strength during this time. (The hardest time of your life, you’ve said)

    Will you ever TRULY and FULLY understand why Christopher couldn’t live his life? Maybe not. I don’t think a young person’s death will ever make sense. But, I also will never understand how Christ could lay down his life for men who left him alone to die. Now that is a very hard concept to grasp! Everyday I remind myself that Christ died on a cross that was meant for me. But, throughout this life of question marks and confused twists and turns, and unfair hands being dealt, the promise remains that Christ will never leave us. And that God is the END all and BE all and runs this show. His sovereignty is real.

    We will suffer, but not alone. The same Savior that endured the cross of Calvary, suffers with us daily. Giving us the ounce of hope that is needed to take another step.

    You tried your best! You said yourself that ‘no one has tried harder.’ I know personally, that not all mothers try their best and not all mothers love and protect their children. You are an amazing mother. And a part of that amazingness is the Christ that dwells within. Be of good cheer, Judy. You will help people with your testimony, and that’s what this life is about.

    I haven’t known you long Judy, but you mean something to me. People do in general, but I know that because Christ has loved me so, he allows me to love certain people with my WHOLE heart! The night I heard about Christopher I prayed for you. I didn’t even know you but I wanted to help you. I knew that the only way to help was to intercede on your behalf. It’s a blessing to pray for someone else, and I know that Christ honored the prayers that were sent up for you and your family by various people.

    Enjoy South Africa, and I hope and pray you learn a lot about the culture, social work and about yourself. You’re in my heart and in my prayers. I will consistently pray that you continue to hold God’s hand because that’s where true peace is found.

    I love you very much, Landlord. Very much!

Comments are closed.