Friday, March 29, 2013

Repost-- It's Friday...But Sunday's a Coming!

Every single year, I repost something I wrote on Good Friday back in 2009. I'm sharing it again, because *I* need the reminder, but I'm adding a few additional thoughts.

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Awhile back one of my professors at MC read us a story out of Fox's Book of Martyrs. It was about a woman who was not only persecuted herself, but watched her child be tortured and yet still refused to renounce her faith. It was hard for me to hear at the time. I remember just being horrified by the story. I couldn't really even wrap my mind around it.

Years later, when I found out I was pregnant, I found myself thinking about the story and it took on a whole new meaning. I told Peyton that even without meeting her yet, I loved Ann Peyton so much, and I didn't know if I could do what this strong woman of faith did. He reassured me that I would probably never have to, and I argued with him that God could call us to be missionaries in a dangerous land, but even so, that really wasn't the point. I realized that my faith was somewhat weak and something I needed to be more intentional about. So that is the first thing I took from the story. But the second is really more important. After thinking on it (worrying about it) for a few days it just HIT ME......God did just that for us! I always knew logically that God gave his "only begotten son", but never had it touched my heart in this way. As a parent, now, I am processing God's love for humanity in a whole new way this Good Friday!

Jesus, the Savior, reigns, the God of truth and love;
When He had purged our stains He took His seat above;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!
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I've said before that nothing has brought me closer to Golgotha than having and raising my own children. The Lord uses different things in people's lives and stories to draw them nearer to Himself and I'm certainly not saying that motherhood has been the only thing He's used. But thus for it's been, hands down, the most powerful and the most profound.

For a long time, He worked on me, helping me to realize that my ultimate hope was not in them, but also that loving Him more didn't mean I had to love them less. That was a hard thing and something I still struggle with. It's hard to realize that my hope isn't in my children's continued existence. It's easy to think that without them (and Peyton) I'd be lost. But Christ seems to be clear in the Gospels where our ultimate allegiance, and consequently hope, is to the Lord. And you know, it'd be easier to dismiss God on this if we didn't have to watch Him give his own son, broken and bloody, to the torture of the cross. For us.

So, I've kind of (most days) come to the point of putting my hope in Him. But lately he's been teaching me something else. And that is that my worth doesn't lie in them either. The other night I had endured a particularly hard day with Peyton and with the children. Usually these things happen on different occasions and it's not enough to push me over the edge. But struggles in both- my marriage and my parenting- on one day, was hard. It nearly defeated me. Then I started making this month's playlist and before it was over, I just dissolved into tears. I sobbed into Peyton's keyboard. I was so thankful that my value doesn't lie in my children's behavior or my husband's satisfaction. That my identity is found in a scourged man and an empty cave. It was such a powerful release.

I know in the next few years, there will be things that will cause me to lean on Him like never before. And I'm truly so excited about the opportunities to daily draw closer to my Lord. And I'm so thankful that two millenia ago, the temple curtain was torn in half and that opportunity was made more possible than ever before. What a wonderful God I serve!

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