It happened many years ago, but I recall it still: I smacked my daughter for being rude to her mother.
It was a light smack, but she was deeply hurt.
“Daddy, I’m a good girl,” she said, cuddling into me, crying. “But sometimes the good girl won’t come.”
Barely four years old, and already she knew the grief that underlies all griefs: our hearts are in bondage to sin and even the little good we feel and want often cannot get out.
Without knowing it, my daughter summed up the sorrow and frustration of every person who seeks to do what is right—and of every Christian in particular. Paul expressed it 2,000 years ago when he cried, “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do” (Romans 7:19).
No wonder our spirits groan as we wait for our adopting and redeeming Father to take us home (Romans 8:18-25). How could we escape depravity and despair without the certain hope that when Jesus returns we shall be like him (1 John 3:2-3)?
Oh Lord Jesus, we long to see you face to face and be delivered from this grief of griefs!