He has been good

I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.  —Psalm 13:6

Summer officially arrives 10 days from now. As the sun
begins its six-month march southward amid days that relentlessly shorten, it
seems that summer will be almost over before it even began. My wife and I used
to look forward to summer as a time to get things done. We would plan ambitious
projects for ourselves and our 5 children. Then, before we knew it, the leaves
began to turn, signaling the approach of fall. Where did summer go?  (For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere I
realize that winter is just beginning for you, so you have a six month head start
to consider these things.)

Life is like that. Time moves quickly. Time also moves
slowly. As parents you realize that your children age pretty much like the summer
months – you wonder where the years went. If you are like me, you may spend
much time saddened by what you could have done better as a parent. If only I
could have back those words said in frustration.  As sinful creatures we have much to grieve
about. But the reality is that we also have much to be thankful for. In our
busy culture it seems that seasons blur from one to the next just as our
failures as parents seem to blur from one to the next. The words of Psalm 13
ring true:

How long must I
wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Then after saying these words David turns his thoughts from
life’s struggles and remembers the faithfulness of his God.

But I trust in
your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

The Bible does not gloss over our struggles and failures.
But neither does it withhold from us the glorious goodness of God. You can’t
hide your sin from God or from your children. But neither should you hide the
goodness of God from your children or yourself. You, like David, can trust in
God’s unfailing love. Savor that word for a moment – unfailing. My love towards my wife and my children has failed more
times than I can count. But God’s love to me is unfailing. There is nothing
that I can do to stop the unfailing love of God. Nothing! You need this
encouragement to be the parent that God wants you to be.

It is tempting to use summer as a time to attempt to redeem the
shortcomings of the previous year. It is fine to be productive, but remember
this: Jesus Christ is the one who redeems. Psalm 13 is painfully honest about
the struggles of life that are ever with us. But it is also wonderfully
encouraging about the faithfulness of God. Has the school year been less than
you wanted it to be? Does it seem at times that you will never make enough progress
as a faithful parent? Are you perhaps hoping that the long days of summer
daylight will in some way help make up for personal failures of winter? If that
is the case, this psalm is for you!

Because God’s love is unfailing, your heart can rejoice in his
salvation. God knows you are weak. He has made provision for your sin in Jesus
Christ. Psalm 13 calls you to delight in the unfailing love of God. As you
delight in him, let your heart sing of the goodness of God.

The last words of the psalm are overwhelming because of the
simple, uncomplicated truth they convey. You can sing to the Lord because he
has been good to you. If you have not been all that you should have been as a
parent, remember that God has been all that he said he would be to you.  If you are overwhelmed by the goodness of God
to you, you will present to your children a God who has been good to you.

Teach your children the words of this psalm. As you live
them each day before God and your children, you will find true light. This
light will bring joy and hope to your life even as the daylight hours of summer
fade into fall.

Take some time to ponder the unfailing love of God. Then let
us know about it.

Shepherd Press