Friday, May 18, 2012

This New Day

Part your heavens, O Lord, and come down . . . Psalm 144:5

I wake up to another new day to battle the ultimate question: do I trust God?

Written on a sermon note tucked in my Bible from who-knows how long ago, the question is asked again in black and white: do I really trust God? It's one I've been repeating to myself for fifteen months. One I have pondered deeper this past week when the news came that yet another teen-ager died in an accident in our little community.

I wonder why we got the "good story" of a son who professed faith in Jesus Christ. I wonder how the unsaved grieve without the hope of God. I wonder the ultimate question of how you would grieve a loved one who did not know Christ. I feel the paralyzing numbness longing to take over rather than feeling the emotions or asking the questions.

I read on to the end of the notes: The Isrealites stumbled and fell because of their unbelief. Their main sin was unbelief. We stand by our faith, and that alone. Not by sight, but faith.

I repeat the promises found in Scripture that I have known so long: those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved; we are victors in Christ; those God predestined he will also glorify; to be absent from the body is to be present with Christ; Jesus is coming soon and His reward is with Him.

"Keep looking forward, don't look around," I wrote weeks ago as the concluding line.

I look around and see only two boys going fishing with their dad instead of three. I look around and pack only four bags instead of five for an upcoming camping trip. I look around and feel the consuming pain of grief that steals the joy from every simple event.

For the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. For the joy set before me, I walk this walk by faith. I try to imagine the glory of God; the unbelievable magnitude of heaven; the first glimpse of standing face to face with my Creator.

A kind lady called a few days ago to tell me how she was blessed to read How My Savior Leads Me. She went on to tell me about when her husband died she realized after a few months that along with the pain of his loss, she was actually more jealous. Jealous that her Johnnie was in the presence of God, without sin.

Randy Alcorn writes in his book, Heaven, that "For the Christian, death is not the end of the adventure but a doorway from a world where dreams and adventures shrink, to a world where dreams and adventures forever expand."

Do I trust God and the plans He has for my life, and my son's life? Yes. Do I long to be there with him? A resounding yes. But again I wake up with the same thought: Here I am still, Lord, please use me then today for your glory.


Listen to my cry [O Lord] for I am in desperate need. Psalm 142:6

I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Psalm 143:6

Set me free from my prison that I may praise your name. Psalm 142:7

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

I survived. Only 364 days until I have to do it all over again. I was granted the privelege of doing whatever I wanted to do, so I chose to stay home from church and cry. I did attempt to salvage the day and be a good mother when everyone got home. I opened presents and ate kid-made deep fried hot dogs on china. Then I made the kiddos work in the garden with me. And I cried some more.

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming.
See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop
and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.
You, too, be patient and stand firm,
because the Lords' coming is near.
James 5:7-8

I'll try, James, I'll try.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I wonder if any of us really get this. As the lightbulb burns out above the bathroom sink, again, and the faucet still drips; as I lay in my bed watching the morning sun rise, and with it I am begging God to let me remember that His glory will rise this day, too; and as I wait anxiously for does in the barn to show some sign of actually delivering their kids, and as I long to be brave enough to allow myself to feel the intensity of loving my own kids who are this side of heaven, I wonder if I really get this: This majesty of my God. The great hope that is found only in Him. The cost of Jesus' blood that was poured out for souls.

I tend to seek primarily for the instant gratification that pleases my flesh, fooling myself that something here will satisfy, while my inner-being constantly cries out for my Maker. The discontent after Trent's death has not ceased to exhaust me. What worldly things used to bring great joy now only fail. A crying for something that satisfies is the ache of my heart; a satisfaction that will not be found until eternity begins and I am in the presence of my Savior.

The writer of Hebrews talks about those who were waiting for a better country~ a heavenly one (Hebrews 11). They were looking forward to a city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. We are reminded of the "greats" who lived by faith, longing for this heavenly dwelling. Moses regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward; he persevered because he saw Him who was faithful. Hebrews 12 reminds us to "fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross."

God has been reminding me over and over again of His promises. This God, of whom "it is impossible for Him to lie," (Hebrews 6:18) gave His own son, Jesus, in our place as the atonement for sin. This same Jesus who has entered heaven itself, now appears for us in God's presence (Heb 9:24): Jesus himself petitions God on our behalf. His sacrifice was a "perfect sacrifice, and is right now sufficient to make perfect forever those who are being made holy" (Heb 10:14).

Never before giving up my own son have I understood to this depth the cost of salvation or the importance of living in obedience to the words of Scripture. Until your heart breaks, and you have given all, you cannot consider giving your own life in exchange. "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:25

I can't imagine God's glory. I can't make anything here in this world compare. I think, truly, that is the ache of this grief: the longing of having what my son has; to be in the presence of God.