Thursday, December 5, 2013
The most joyful of all pains
Some of the most spectacular things in life are also some of the least expected.
Like a mother's pleasure in her children.
The first step taken, the first word spoken, first book read from cover to cover. And perhaps (I can only imagine), graduation, marriage, and the likes. But these things are nothing in comparison to the surge of pride and pleasure I feel when I see my child struggling to overcome his fears, when I see him sacrificing on behalf of others.
There is nothing like it.
It makes me laugh and weep and pray and praise all at once. This joyful pain is a strange thing, unlike anything I've ever felt.
3 Queens from Matt Bieler on Vimeo.
I watched this video today. I loved the intimate glimpses of these mothers in their natural habitat. It made me wonder how my boys see me. How will they remember their childhood, how will they remember my voice.
It made me wonder how the Father sees me, from above. This was when I got all hot and cold. I know I have not pleased him with the words I spoke, the tone I used, the thoughts I thought. I am often selfish, often annoyed, often impatient and unkind. I am often controlled by my fears, and I often refuse to sacrifice for others. In short, I would not want my children to be running around with three video cameras.
Before I had too long to feel too horrible about my failures — grace hit me.
When the Father looks at me, he sees Jesus. I mean, that's crazy talk. Not only did he give his Son to die in my place, took the punishment of my sin, he even made me his. I am hidden in Christ. I am no longer exposed and naked and alone. Christ's righteousness covers me. His mercy covers my weaknesses, my flaws. Not only did he cancel my debt, God made me his daughter. The Father sees the Son when he looks at me.
His love frees me to overcome my fears.
His love frees me to sacrifice for others.
So, my dear friend, wherever you are today, whether you are happy or sad or tired. Know this: When you put your faith in Christ, God is pleased with you. Not because of anything you have done, but because of everything Christ has done. I pray that you would know his pleasure and know his love for you, because this love — it's pretty spectacular. You are forever his.
The Gospel makes me laugh and weep and pray and praise all at once.
The crucifixion is the most joyful of all pains.
There is no one like him.