To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. ~ Ephesians 3:8-21
Everything, and I truly do mean EVERYTHING, has an eternal purpose. Most times, in my experience, it is completely unfathomable to our very limited human eyes and hearts.
I heard once that God’s love was a side characteristic – a minor trait compared to his traits of justice, judgment, Truth, etc. Kind of like an afterword, almost forgotten, but not as important to consider as the rest of Him.
Is it blasphemy for me to disagree? To say that this viewpoint leads to fearful, cowardly retreat from a God whose hand is always just hovering above the SMITE button, just waiting for our puny little humanness to make ONE false move. To look on Him not with awe and reverence, but to hide in a corner, hoping we do nothing to catch His vindictive eye.
I don’t buy it. You see, I know in my heart of hearts, that Love is the lens through which all of God’s other traits are seen and felt and heard. I’ve seen it personally. I’ve felt it in the gentleness of His hand as I am lovingly chastised.
I’ve heard it in my son’s cries as he hovered on the brink between two worlds – the base, earthy world of our human existence. And the eternal, heavenly world where God dwells in Holiness.
You think me melodramatic. You say, “Come on Sarah. Your son wasn’t THAT sick. He fought off infection, or a minor virus and you just caught him at the worst time of his body’s natural process. Stop being such a drama queen.”
Perspective is a tricky thing. Especially when everyone’s perspective is different and the situation may be easily read as quite different from another’s eyes.
In my eyes, in the moment that I held my son’s ice cold, pale body (even his tongue was devoid of color) I thought for certain that he was dying. My mother perspective lost it. If you are not a mother, you cannot fully comprehend a mother’s perspective in this situation. Dramatic? Maybe. It doesn’t make it wrong.
Do you know that God is FAITHFUL to do beyond anything we could ever imagine? I have surrendered my children to God – knowing that His hands and arms are the safest, most LOVING place for them to be.
That did not prevent me from still clinging tightly to my son as I begged God to not take him just yet. Claiming that surrender is a lot easier when it is just words, and it does not actually stop our mother-heart from fighting with every beat not to let go.
I know Luke is in God’s hands. I know that he was created by God and only given to me as a temporary, beautiful gift to cherish and raise up in the ways of the Lord. I know this. I believe this.
That is why I don’t believe it diminishes the mother-heart in me that tries desperately to say, “Thy will be done,” while still holding on with everything to my child. Because regardless of the loan-nature of my son, he is my son. I don’t think Mary felt that Jesus’ status as the Son of God diminished her status as his mother. And can you blame her – or me? We carry this child within our womb for 40 weeks – sometimes more, sometimes less. Everything that we do during this time can either harm our child greatly, or nurture and sustain the growing life. We finally give them up to the cold, dark world, expelling them from our bodies with great pain and travail, only to cling to them and nourish them again at our breast for the first six months to a year or more of life. They are completely dependent on our care – or lack of it whatever the case may be.
We mothers have a bond with our children that only God or another mother can ever totally understand. And just as we would give our last, dying breath in exchange for the life of our child, and our place in the circle of heaven – being cast out into hell if necessary – for the eternal soul of our child; so too would God do the same, LOVING sacrifice for us.