A Sidekick's Blog

Slow to Understand | November 30, 2014

While for years I have given intellectual assent to the idea that because Christ served, put up with, healed, fed, cared for and died for ungrateful, undeserving, unloving, stiff-necked, stubborn people to redeem a people for Himself, so that they would likewise serve other undeserving, ungrateful, selfish people, in all these years it seems to have rarely ever worked it’s way from my head to my heart.

Especially in these last few years, I have allowed my heart to be filled with resentment and bitterness towards the very people that God has given me to show His love. I have no idea why it has taken so long to travel the 18-inch distance from head to heart, but it seemed at least to be getting close today as our church celebrated the Lord’s Supper, in which we remember and apply the sacrifice of Christ’s body and blood on behalf of us, unworthy, undeserving, selfish, stubborn, rebellious sinners. It was not only on the cross that Christ suffered! His anguish began at His incarnation, when He emptied Himself from the glories of heaven into the form of a helpless human infant, totally dependent upon sinners to provide for His sustenance. Imagine the humiliation for the Creator and Ruler of all that exists, to reduce Himself to that!

And in all the years as a human child in which He obeyed His parents, His teachers, even the Roman authorities – all of whom He had created and sustained. According to the writer of Hebrews, “He learned obedience from the things which He suffered (5:8). And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation (verse 9).” His was a life of suffering, culminating in the suffering of a criminal’s death at the hands of the very ones He spent His life in service to. My rebellion, my guilt, the chains of my slavery to my own corrupted heart, He abolished on the cross, paying the debt of this undeserving cosmic traitor. The proof that His payment fully satisfied my debt was that the Father raised Him from the dead, having accepted the blood of His own Son as payment for my rebellion.

So why now, after having been rescued from God’s fearsome justice, should my heart be filled with resentment for the little things I suffer in caring for a dementia patient who is far less ungrateful and rebellious than I ever was? Christ redeemed me from sin and hell so that I could be like Him, sharing His righteousness, His inheritance of heaven and earth! The path to that inheritance is sharing His suffering, through the narrow gate, along the narrow way. To be like Him I must live like He did. Helpless to do so because I am human and dwell in a body twisted and corrupted and stained with sin, Christ has even provided the means for me to live as He did, providing His written word to instruct my mind and His own Spirit to apply that instruction to my heart so that it shows up in my hands, in my words, my behavior, and my attitudes. Furthermore He has promised to finish what He has begun, perfecting and changing me to reflect His own love and mercy.

Clearly, there remains much work to be done. But like the little child that completely depends on another to do for him what he cannot do for himself, I remain in perpetual state of humble dependence on His Spirit to bring His instruction those last 18 inches from my poor, aging, corrupted brain to my heart, and then my hands, my thoughts, and my words.

I pray every day for God to take “Grammy” to heaven. But until today, my motive was only to relieve my own burden of caring for her. Today, that prayer is is truly for Grammy, whose suffering – both mental and physical – is beyond my ability to even imagine. Until He takes her home, may He grant me compassion, and may He grant that I would take delight in every opportunity to be like Him.

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1 Comment »

  1. Well written my friend.

    Comment by keachfan — December 1, 2014 @ 3:53 am


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