In the last 36 hours Sallie and I (Rich) attended the wake of a friend’s father who died and then had the wonderful joy of witnessing the birth of our sixth grandchild Dylan Elisabeth weighing into life at 7lbs 8 oz. Death and life, sadness and joy … both impacted my soul.
Have you noticed how suffering can lead us to the cross of Christ in ways that nothing else can? Our suffering reminds us that God’s entire engagement with the world focused on his radical scandalous grace that came through the Father’s suffering Son. This grace culminated and found full expression in the surrender of His son to death on the cross. Who would ever imagine the perfect expression of the love of God would be the brutal crucifixion of God’s son? God’s heart was fixed on this radical surrender to suffering from eternity past.
A few days ago my wife and I watched a local news channel as they tracked the tornados in southern Indiana. At one point we were told we had 8 minutes before a twister would hit our small town. The thought of being in the path of destruction naturally scared us. The tornado didn’t hit our house. But it did hit and destroy many other homes just a few miles from us. While we were thankful we were spared we were deeply saddened for those whose lives were impacted in such a profound way.
Have you noticed the danger inherent in the phrase, “falling in love?” I like the love part, but not the “falling” part. I’ve taken some really bad spills as a kid and as an adult. Winding up bloody and bruised is no fun. Couldn’t there be a better term than “falling” to symbolize the beauty and excitement of romantic love? The answer is ‘no’. Falling is exactly the imagery needed for this transcendent experience. Why? Because the mystery of love requires losing our balance. It requires relinquishing control. It demands the vulnerability opening our soul to another.
God waits for our 'yes'. We do not fully understand where this response will take us. We may even resist it. But still God waits for our 'yes'. And we do well to give this response in faith, trusting the goodness of our heavenly father just as Jesus did. When Mary said 'yes', she did not know what would happen to her son, that He would willingly lay down His life. She did not know the sorrow of soul she would have to endure. She only knew for certain that everything would change if she said 'yes'. The same
"For God alone my soul in silence waits; from him comes my salvation" (Psalm 62:1). Sooner of later we have to put God first in our life. That is to say, our own true spiritual development must become the only thing that really matters. It need not, and indeed better not, be the only thing. But it must be the first thing. When this happens we will find that a lot of the unnecessary 'junk' that we carried about has been shed. Mental junk. But probably physical junk will follow! We will find we do a great deal less