It’s been impossible to ignore a certain disgruntled person around here lately; my sweet, freckle-faced, tenderhearted, blue-eyed, tell-me-he-loves-me-a-million-times-a-day middle child. Jesse has always been my wild card. Dramatic, loud, rambunctious (I had to use spell check for that one!), but always willing to serve and give. I’ve noticed a pattern recently in Jesse’s behavior; really just in his attitude.
He. Is. Never. Satisfied.
I give him an inch, he wants a mile. I offer him donuts, he wants pancakes. I take him to the park, he’d rather go to the river. He asks for something, I tell him no, he hangs his head and works really hard on making an ugly, down-trodden face for as long as he possibly can. It has gotten to the point where I want to scream at him and take every thing that is his and throw it in the trash; show him what it really feels like to have nothing. It isn’t just the dissatisfaction, it is the ungratefulness. Not only is he not happy with what he doesn’t have, he is unhappy with what he does have. I was at the end of myself, right where God seems to prefer me, when I finally asked a friend what to do. She got to the point and quick.
It’s a heart issue. He needs to repent.
She was so right. I’ve been trying to explain to him how ugly his whining and complaining is, but really I needed him to see that his heart is a mess.
Jesse knows the Lord and was baptized less than a year ago. He did it all without anyone’s prompting. One night in bed as we said prayers together, he said, “Will you please help me pray to ask Jesus to come into my heart?” This gave me even more motivation to make sure he knew the truth, and well.
We were at my in-laws’ for lunch yesterday after church. Jesse asked if we were going to go back to the Colonial Times event at the Living History Park that afternoon. I told him no because we needed to go home and rest. He hung his head, began to cry (loudly), and I told him to go sit on the back porch until he calmed himself down. He dramatically headed out to the porch and slammed his fingertips in the door in the process.
*Those are the moments that I so want to pull him in and say, “YOU DESERVE WHAT JUST HAPPENED. YOU CAUSED IT AND YOU DESERVE IT.” But I don’t.
Instead, I took Jesse by the hand (the one not throbbing), and lead him to the front porch. He was crying and I refused to say anymore until he calmed himself. Once he was quiet, I began giving him example after example of his recent dissatisfaction and ungratefulness. I told him that all of his complaining was not only telling Mommy and Daddy that he isn’t happy with the things we provide for him, but it also tells God that Jesus was not enough. I explained, once again, that Jesus died for HIM. I told him that we should find all of our satisfaction in Christ. I shared with him what Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” I didn’t want to heap shame on him so I made sure I filled him with hope:
Jesse, what comes out of your mouth reveals what’s in your heart. We need to work harder at filling your heart with God’s word and make sure that thankfulness is most often on your lips. First, you need to pray and ask God to forgive you for not being satisfied with Him.
He cried and cried. I knew, without doubt, that he saw his heart for what it really is without Christ. He dried his eyes and prayed a sweet prayer and then sat with me on the rocking chair for a good, long while.
I saw instant change. His face looked different and that sweet smile once again graced his lips.
It’s been 24 hours. I’ve softly reminded him once or twice and all it takes is:
Jesse, let’s be thankful.
…and he chooses joy. I know it’s an ongoing process. We are never fully sanctified or righteous; but God. He made a way. One day my children will see that so many of the lessons I taught them were really God’s way of drawing me nearer to Himself.
May we be continually filled with joy overflowing; finding all satisfaction in Him.