As always, click the “play” button below to hear the squirrel chatter (or click the audio file if you subscribe and have the post delivered to your Email). Actually, it’s just Amy J. reading her post to you!
In the beginning it was easy to think the “right thing.” And by beginning, I mean the day of my family’s wreck. It’s a weird phenomenon, but it is very difficult for me to even remember there was life before the wreck and my daughter’s paralysis. And some of you who continually roll through dark valleys totally understand what I mean.
In the beginning it was easy to say my daughter’s paralysis would be worthwhile if it brought people to the saving power of Jesus Christ or if it encouraged people to grow deeper in their faith. And most of the time, that’s still true.
68.7% of the time my head and heart can agree on that.
But as those who have been called to make huge and continuous sacrifices will tell you, sometimes you just get sick of it! Sometimes you want a break. Sometimes you wonder why there wasn’t an easier way for people to pay attention to God, and why it had to come at such an enormous cost to your child and your family. Sometimes you just wish for one day, just one . . . simple . . . ordinary . . . day, everything in your life could be simple and ordinary again. You know what I would do? I’d delight in hugging my daughter while she stood. I’d walk beside her out to her car and watch her get in her vehicle without any assistance or devices. If it were raining, it wouldn’t change our plans for the day at all because she could just carry an umbrella wherever she needed to go. I’d remind her to be sure to get gas in her vehicle, because she could. I’d ask her to stop and pick up a gallon of milk because that would be so easy for her with two working legs. And I’d video tape all of it because for one day, just for one day, to live normal again would be a dream come true.
I didn’t willingly offer my daughter. I’m a rotten enough person that even though I know her paralysis is furthering God’s kingdom, there are lots of moments when I would trade it. In my selfish, shallow, heartbroken condition, if somehow a trade could be made, I would trade God’s kingdom being furthered through our pain for a healthy daughter. Maybe it makes me the most rotten person around to admit that, or maybe it makes me the most honest person you’ll hear from today. I don’t know.
That is why Easter means so much more to me than it ever did before the wreck.
God willingly gave up His kid. Willingly. And He, as a parent, could have actually stopped the horribleness from happening to His child. How many times have I relived our wreck? Is it 3,982 or is it 4,298 times? What does it matter? Every time I try to stop it, yet every time we still crash into that stupid red Ford Explorer pulling horizontally in front of us on the highway.
Knowing what I know now makes me have even more respect and admiration for God than I ever did.
I’m not that good! I wouldn’t willingly offer up my child for someone else, but God did! And as a parent, one of the absolute worst things for me to watch is my child suffer. She having to constantly sit at the back of a room and be excluded. Having to watch her physically work so hard just to get in and out of a vehicle. Watching people young and old stare at her or whisper behind her back (even though we can still hear them) or say hurtful and mean things to her face. Just a few weeks ago at work a man said to my daughter, “You shouldn’t be working! You’re a cripple!”
And what I think is painful to have to watch my child endure is peanuts compared to what God had to watch His child endure. The scorn. The shame. The mocking. The beating. The torture. The emotional anguish had to cut Him to the core. Yet, He allowed His son to go through it.
Why would a parent do this? There’s only one reason, Dear Reader.
Love. A love I used to think I could sort of understand, but have realized, there’s no way I can really fathom at all. And God wasn’t just allowing His son’s sacrifice for the “really good people.” No. He allowed it for all of us: the people like me; the people who struggle; those who fall short; those who mess up continually; and those whose frailty seems endless. He had so much love for us that He was willing to sacrifice His son.
That. Absolutely. Amazes. Me. I look at God in a whole new way now. The phrase “Sacrificing His son” used to be just a nice little “Christian-ese” church phrase to me, but now, now it means something. Now I understand a little about gigantic sacrifices. Now I have a small understanding of what it’s like to watch your own flesh and blood struggle physically while enduring pain and mockery.
And now I know there is no way I even come close to being good enough to willingly offer my child as a sacrifice for anyone. But the news of Easter is amazing! Absolutely amazing! We have a God who is so selfless, and so perfect, and so holy, and so loving, that He would willingly offer His child for us to be saved from what we deserve.
This puts Easter in perspective for me. Any parent who would put His personal desires aside for His child just to rescue a bunch of rag-tag sinners like me, well, that’s the one true God who I am willing to follow to the very best of my ability.
What a good, good God we serve! Happy Easter, Dear Reader. May each of us revel in the knowledge of the love our Father has for us.
Next week my kids are on break, so I plan to take a little break too. I’ll be reposting one of the earliest blogs that explains why this whole operation is called “Squirrel Chatter.” So until April 11, Lord willing, when a new blog post returns, thank you for reading.