Recently a friend of mine’s home was broken into while she was welcoming the birth of her first grandson. What a priceless time to experience such a violation. As I sat recanting the news to my husband, my son who is 8 years old heard our conversation. We used it as an opportunity to go over our family safety plan in the case of a fire or any situation in which we needed to get out of the house. My son said “But mommy what about you and daddy? Who will make sure you are okay?” I replied, “Son, you are our heart. Everything that is priceless to us lives in you. If our children are safe then we can focus on getting out too.” It seemed to reassure him and he had no additional questions but that conversation has stayed with me for the last couple of days.
I don’t live in fear. I anticipate that death will come for each of us at some point and I firmly believe that no man can rob me of my God given appointed time to die nor my children’s time. I am not being insensitive to those who have lost children. To bury a child must be the most….indescribable form of pain to endure. I have a few friends who have lost children and it is agonizing to watch them have their heart decimated into a million pieces. It is why the above quote is a powerful truth. Our children are our heart walking on the outside of our body. If you want to incite my anger do anything against my children. If you want to hurt me to the core then reject my children. If you want to have my undying gratitude then love my children. If you want to know me greater then know my children. All my successes and failures, my mannerisms and bad habits, will stand before you with the most mesmerizing smiles and eyes staring back at you.
As I stood there with that quote rolling around in my head and contemplating all the ways I could be devastated by my children being harmed, it was in that moment that a bigger, greater truth almost floored me. It literally took my breath away and I had no words to respond back as the Spirit released these words back into my existence: For your God, who so loved you, gave HIS one and only son to die so that you would have life eternal with your Father.
“There was a time when probably the best-known Bible verse would have been John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” It seemed as though everyone either knew this verse or knew a little bit about it.” (http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-bibles-most-popular-verse-95216/)
Use to be? As though it’s old news replaced by statements like “awe, yeah, I heard that already” or “yeah, I got it, he loved me.” But in that moment the other night, I got a tangible image of God’s love and sacrifice for me. His heart walking in flesh enduring ridicule, rejection, overwhelming responsibility, being hated, and beaten then hung on a cross for all to see. As His mother writhed in agony, never leaving Him, not being able to do anything to change the circumstances. God watching His son being given to the world so that each person would have the choice to accept him or reject him completely. A choice!
We live in times that say “Jesus can’t possibly be the only way!” That you can get to God without having to know Jesus. That the cross is a gruesome exaggeration. Or that you believe Jesus was God clothed in flesh but the death was tolerable because he was God. I’ve never met a parent who found the death of their child tolerable based on the circumstances in which they died, or whether they suffered much or little. God is drawn to the brokenhearted (Psalms 34:18) because He has been there. How could a father allow anyone to reconcile with him if they are still rejecting his son’s sacrifice? Jesus was the sacrificial love and He is the only way.
As a mother who types these words right now, I can say with certainty that I would give myself in a second for God’s will but I pray that the day will never come that I must make a choice to give my children’s life. (That is more end time teaching that I am not called to speak about at this time.) If you are a parent then I am certain you grasp what I am saying to you. But even if you are not a parent, you are a child and I pray that you would take a moment to ask your Father to reveal His great love for you.
Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV)
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.