Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Worth of Enduring

“It is worth it to endure all things for the sake of hearing the gospel.”

When I heard the words spoken out loud my soul resonated them as truth. And not only hearing the gospel, but knowing the gospel: The good news of a Savior who died for His elect, an atoning sacrifice before a Holy God, Jesus' precious blood poured out to cover disgusting sins that He never committed, all to reveal greater the glory of our Creator.

A few days later, after grappling continually with grief, those words came back to my tired mind again as I lay in bed wafting between living victoriously in the promises of Christ, or wallowing in pitiful sorrow for another day.

There are times when the rising of strength can almost be measured when the Word of God is remembered. Twenty months after Trent's accident, I have easily assigned heaven and being in the presence of God's glory as second choice to having my son here. It has become harder to conjure up the excitement of what he must be experiencing due to my own pain in what I am experiencing. I have forgotten the worth of the gospel. I have allowed my thoughts, like Eve did (Genesis 3), to rule.

But, if “it is worth it to endure all things for the sake of {knowing} the gospel,” then what a privilege it is to wake up every single day to knowing that my son will not be opening my bedroom door to come in and snuggle. What a privilege to cry every tear. What a privilege to want to battle with my heart for God's truth. Every day, every moment nearly, deciding who will reign.

I sometimes tend to think that I deserve better from my King. I have been spoon fed the same lie that most of us have been told: that the children of God won't/shouldn't suffer, that only what is seen should be considered, that eternity may not be such a long time, that God's glory may not be so glorious or His holy standards so holy. But had I read without my own version of interpreting the Scripture, I would hold unswervingly to embracing and enduring pain, knowing that every infinitesimal detail was from the hand of a Sovereign God; all for His glory, and somehow my joy (Romans 5:1-5). My heart would wholly be as the Samaritan woman's heart, who took even insult from her Savior, and saw the worth of begging for the crumbs, as a dog, in order to know Him (Matthew 15:22-28).

Jesus didn't tend to plead with people to know Him, He actually seemed to do the opposite (John 6:53-38). He warned people to count the cost before even considering following Him (Luke 14:25-35). He warned about the crosses to come; the crosses that would prove our allegiance (Luke 9:23-24). The Kingdom is not free for the taking, it is a Kingdom to be conquered, and it starts in our hearts. Our wicked, deceitful hearts that long for their own way rather than those of God (Jeremiah 17:9). Our hearts that demand our own comfort rather than discipline and submission, our hearts that trade truth as found in God's Word for pride, for ease, for what's on sale at WalMart.

So I sell my fields, as it were, for the greater treasure (Matthew 13:44). I lay aside my longings for my son, for God's Son. As Paul says, I count everything as loss for the sake of knowing Jesus (Philippians 3:7-11). If pain reveals my heart, and pride shows that sin really hasn't been done away with no matter how hard I try to cover it up, and shame puts me back on my knees, and my short temper causes regrets, and my un-gracefilled life finds me begging again for salvation as found only through Jesus, then it is worth it to endure all things for the sake of knowing the gospel. I continue to put myself where the gospel can be heard, enduring the temporal cost, for the eternal value.