April 21, 2014

EASTER: "He is Risen!" - OR - "I am Barren..."

Yesterday was Easter Sunday: the day when Christians everywhere celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I greatly prefer it to the Christmas holiday, as Christmas only points to the beginning of the wonderful gift God gave us. Easter, on the other hand, commemorates the completion of that gift. Having fulfilled the Law by living a perfect, sinless life, Christ died in our place and took upon Himself the full cup of God's wrath. On the third day, He rose again to prove He'd defeated sin and death and thus made a way to reconcile us to God. So I enjoy the focus that Easter brings to the "it is finished"-ness of the Gospel of grace. Praise Him, for He is risen!

That being said, yesterday was also a day when everyone and their brother took family photos while dressed in their "Sunday best." The first time I checked Facebook on Sunday morning was glorious. I scrolled through pictures of all my friends and their progeny - so many squinty-eyed, toothy grins in the morning sunshine. It was beautiful! For a while...


Of course, I enjoyed catching up on how my friends' families have grown over the years. And of course my heart swelled with such love for them - seeing how God had blessed them with wonderful lineages. But my heart was a bit unsettled as well. First for myself and my husband, as we have yet to conceive or progress in our foster-to-adopt process, but also for those I know who have longed and prayed for children for years upon years...to no avail. Not to mention those who have lost precious little ones along the way for reasons unknown to any but God. 


As the day progressed, the family photos became voluminous. Time and time again, I was reminded of the prolificacy of others in stark contrast to the barrenness of self. Over the past couple of years of marriage, I have been completely fine with trusting the Lord's timing for my little family. But yesterday, it stung a little bit. I had that feeling like life was marching on at a swift 8-to-5 glide (you other band nerds will know what I mean by that!) yet I was somehow standing still, watching it all pass me by. And my heart ached for those other couples I know as well, realizing that they too were likely scrolling through their own litanies of prolific peers.


But instead of wallowing in discontent, I decided to set my mind on Christ. It was Resurrection Day, after all! And the more I set my mind on Him, the more He reminded me that He is the One who decides how we are to best invest in the next generation. And His way is perfect (Psalm 18:30; 2 Samuel 22:31; Deuteronomy 32:4)!


I took a moment to reflect on all the younger guys and girls that the Lord has seen fit to allow me a hand in "raising." And I thought about kids I had taught at church back in the day who are now the very grown-ups bearing wide-eyed tots in my Facebook feed. And I praised the Lord instead of pouting.


Now, I know it's not a total cure for the no-offspring blues...but taking the opportunity to look around you and realize the influence God has allowed you to have will help to soften the blow. And if you have never had that great honor, ask the Lord to open your eyes to children who could use a helping hand from an adult who longs to "mother" or "father" them in Christ. So many kids out there need a trusted adult to come alongside and disciple them toward knowing the Lord more deeply.


So let's set a goal for ourselves: let us so diligently nurture those whom God sets in our paths over the course of this year that next Easter - when we're forced to peruse the pastel portraits of progeny - hopefully (prayerfully!) we will be quicker to bless the risen Savior than bemoan our rightful state. 


He is risen, indeed!

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