The Gospel of Jesus has many costs. Jesus who was called the man of sorrows was a perfect man, the God-man who came to earth to suffer in order to make the perfect sacrifice, the perfect payment according to Jewish law in order to redeem Israel of its sins. This redemption must take place so that imperfect man who is far and disconnected from God himself will be able to be cleansed in the sight of a most holy God so that he might have perfect union with Him. Those things that imperfect man is supposed to pay for in eternity, Jesus paid for through his suffering and the ultimate shedding of his blood for eternity.
When I was around 13 the gospel of Jesus made sense to me for the first time. In my child-like faith I realized that God had to be real so what he did must have been real as well. 15 years later here I am. When you first put your faith in Christ as I did at a young age you really have no idea what kind of costs comes with believing. 15 years later I have been through a lot in my faith. I grew through highschool, it was tested and tried in college, I even walked away from it for about a year and a half to look back and find that it was the only thing that would truly satisfy me. I tried to get rid of it and run from it and yet it lead me into a five year long career where I shared my life with college students because I had learned so much about myself and my faith in college. I look back with fondness on the last couple of years of college because I invested my life into women in my sorority house and devoted myself to giving my life to Jesus. It gave me extreme growth and the ability to see God in action in the lives of people around me.
I know that the gospel has many costs. I’ve read the good book and acknowledge what Jesus has done for me. I experienced some of them (costs) myself. At least I had thought I experienced some of them myself, until this past year. Over the past year I have tried to stay positive and trust in God for things to get better. Honestly our hearts feel like things have only gotten worse. Our lives haven’t necessarily gotten worse it just hasn’t gotten any better. I struggle with the fact that we have been trusting the Lord for big things and it just seems like we are in the exact same place that we were a year ago. We still want to move to Memphis, I still want my husband to love his job, we still want to know where the money is going to come from to pay the bills, we still have our lists of wants and desires to take vacations and a longing to enjoy life without the stress of everything going on. We still want rest and most of all we still want to know what God is trying to teach us here.
As I paged through the Palms this morning I was continually reminded of Psalm 23 when David says, ” Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for Thou art with me.” David was was later to become the King of Isreal for a long time was on the run from King Saul who wanted to see him dead. David was a threat to Saul and so Saul was always trying to kill him. So it him me this morning, David who is the author of many of the Psalms for most of his life faced many trials, and yet David was known as the man who was after God’s own heart.
Here I am 15 years into my faith and I am seeing more and more how the gospel of God has a cost for me. I think that I and many Christians expect to get out of lives stuggles by blessings and we fail to believe that we deserve any of life’s calamaties. Unfortunatly much of life is about trials and calamaties but for the Chrisitan it is also about growth and maturity. It is about trusting even when things are difficult and acknowledging that life may have a lot of downs that it doesn’t mean that God isn’t listening. Fortunatly it is also about hope for the future and trusting God for a brighter day. It is also about resting on his promises and believeing that he will do what he has promised with things such as provide and take care of our daily needs. It’s a cost that I feel like I’m often not willing to accept. I would much rather have a cushy life where I don’t have to be broken by God. But brokeness brings humility, humility brings repentance and repentance brings dependance. Dependance is all that God wants because it brings him worship and brings life full ciricle of everything coming back to pointing to him. He made it all he crated it all, all good things come from him so doesn’t he deserve the glory?
When I dig down deep in the depth of my heart past all the baggage I have been carrying and the difficult road I have been traveling I am put in a position of awe of how my child points me straight to the person of Jesus. As I dug up my ipod today and resurrected it from the bottom of a basket I where I keep my books I realized once again that the music of the children of God awakens my heart. When I was in the hospital after I had given birth to Caden I had to walk down the hall to the nursery to feed him. When Caden was born he was grunting which means they were concerned about his lungs that he wasn’t breathing fully. (Probibly because I pushed him out of me in record time, I think 14 minutes of pushing was the official time.) So he had to spend the days we were in the hospital in the nursery being monitored by NICU nurses. Thankfully it never seemed to be anything serious but as a new mother I had to take evening jaunts to feed baby boy down in the nursery. One such night as I was feeding little baby bug, the Lord spoke to me. (I honestly hadn’t heard his voice in a very long time, and it was kind of a is that you Lord? kind of moment) I was feeding bugs and he was still learning how to eat from his mommy. He kept pulling away from me even though he was hungry. The Lord spoke to me and said to me,”you are doing the same thing I am trying to feed you (care for you) and you keep pushing away from me.” For months I have been wondering what that really meant. Other than I knew it was from the Lord I really didn’t exactly know what to glean from that little conversation the Lord and I had.
But today, as I was observing Caden checking out the world I found myself wondering what the world really looked like through his eyes. He has so much faith. He trusts me for everything. He crys because he knows mommy is going to come care for him. He’s so happy and smiles all the time. He has nothing to fear and nothing to be sad about. His world is a new enviornment that he explores with eagerness. Yet, I am entrusted with the ability to keep him away from the things that are harmful for him. As I contemplated the verses that are below I kept thinking about what it meant to come to Jesus as a child. Children are the ones who Jesus says will enter the kigdom of God. As my child trusts me to take care of every need, I as a child of God really needs to trust God with my every need. Children are innocent, untarnished. They haven’t experienced the hardships of the world or been able to be corrupted by the sin of the world. Not that I believe that children are sinless when they are born by they are the closet thing this side of heaven to true purity or at least innocence. How I need to remember all that in my daily life. Though we have been scared at times the Lord has never let us down. Not once, we have always been provided for. We have always had everything we needed and sometimes I just need to sit down, through my hands up and say Lord I just trust you!
“Truly I say to you, unless you are coverted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever recieves one such child in My name recieves Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who blieve in Me to stuble, it is better for him than a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18: 3-6
“Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you whoever does not recieve the kigdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all. And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hand upon them.” Mark 10:14-16
It really is a huge calling to raise a child. A huge calling to raise him up that points him toward God, doesn’t corrupt his nature. I have been entrusted with a little one and I never want to hinder him. I feel honored to take on such a calling in my life. I know I will make mistakes, that is what grace is for but I pray that the Lord will continue to flow in and through me so that I can fullfill this calling in a way that pleases the Lord.
Caden was proud and happy (as always) in his new Easter outfit that Nana found for him! Good job Nana! She always does such fabulous shopping! This was bug’s frist Easter. It was spent in Lincoln, Nebraska. We attended church and then have been having some trouble napping. Not me, Caden. I’m not sure if he’s cutting a tooth or what but the past couple of nights he has woken up screaming and he’s hard to calm down. Then we find him chewing on his fingers. Yesterday after we got home from church mommy and daddy were both tired but of course Caden has his cat nap in the car and didn’t want to drift off to sleep at home. Even after he hadn’t seem to sleep to well the night before. So it took quite awhile but finally he went to sleep and mommy passed out too. I awoke to hear him crying again and being half away I rushed in to find him rolling around in his crib and crying. Then I stumbled down stairs after sleeping a little bit longer than I planned myself and started making my portion of Easter dinner since we were headed over to our good friends and neighbors house Jill and Rob’s. Well after sticking the green bean casserole in the oven and trying to get the shells off the hardboiled eggs I had made, which I couldn’t do by the way. I feel like I lost sight of Easter this year. I feel like I really lost sight of the fact that it’s about the ressurection of Christ and the redemtion of us his children. Instead I found myself stressed and frusterated in a mess of eggs where their sells wouldn’t come off and fussy baby who hasn’t been sleeping well at all. Oh, I’m so thankful for the cross and that Jesus died for days like that too! Hopefully Easters to come will be much less stressful! Anyway, we are thankful for each and every one of our friends. God Bless you! Have a Happy Easter enjoy our pic of our happy little guy! Love, The Webbs