Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you for your own good, who leads you in the way you should go. O that you had paid attention to my commandments!
Then your prosperity would have been like a river, and your success like the waves of the sea; your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like its grains; their name would never be cut off or destroyed from before me.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Clunk, shuffle. “Take off mama’s boots and put them by the door.”
Twist, squeak. “Let me adjust the bathtub knobs.”
News from day care. “We do not bite people.”
I don’t mean to be overbearing. But I see what’s happening, and I don’t want my daughter to fall, to burn herself, or to hurt other people.
With boundaries and instructions, I try to teach her for her own good. Yet, I cannot protect her from every physical and emotional hurt in this life. Instead, I try to show her the way she should go and also hold space for her to explore, take risks and grow.
As a parent of a two-year old, I can begin to imagine what God may feel like in this passage. How many times must God have said to humanity, “O that you had paid attention…!”
What is God teaching me for my own good?
—Lauren Hackman-Brooks is a Chaplain in University Ministry at Loyola University Chicago – Health Sciences Division and serves on the Board of Directors at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House.
God, You are more patient than the most patient parent. Help me to allow myself to be loved by you. Teach me for my own good. Lead me in the ways I should go. Guide my feet in the way of peace.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!