When I began my journey with my Lord 12/27/71, I got down on my knees and accepted Jesus as my Saviour because I was unhappy with my life. I felt unloved in my marriage; I felt unloved by my family of origin. I was told that Jesus loved me, and that was all I needed and wanted to hear. 1 John 14:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
I recently commented to another bereaved Mom, that I cannot honestly say that if I knew of some of the costs I would pay in following Jesus, that I would have said: “yes”. I had accepted Jesus because of what He had done for me. I accepted Jesus because of what I thought He would do for me. I accepted Jesus because of what I wanted. I accepted Jesus because it was all about me.
I have fought with Him more times than I can count. I have said awful things to Him in the midst of times of pain, in the midst of temper tantrums, at times when I did not get what I wanted and truly thought I needed. In my arrogance, I truly believed that I knew better than God. In my stubbornness, I demanded that God do for me what I believed He should be doing for me. I rebelled and backslid in my defiance when I didn’t get my own way. I was stuck in the mentality of a two year old for many years, stomping around while flailing my arms, yelling: NO! NO! NO!
So much time have I wasted.
My maternal grandmother often babysat myself and my siblings when my parents went out on a date. She was a tough German woman that demanded that I ate my vegetables. I have memories of sitting at the kitchen table long after my siblings had left the room to go do whatever they were doing, long into the night. It was a war of stubbornness between her and I. My only consolation was that my Mom didn’t like her much either. For hours, long after dark, I would sit at that table until bedtime arrived. One thing I knew, my parents at some point would arrive home and she would leave. It was just a matter of waiting it out. Eventually, I would ‘win’ and not have to eat those yucky disgusting vegetables.
Sometimes, God gives us vegetables…and we have to eat them.
The difference is that God won’t be leaving…for now. Dt. 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
However, there does come a time when: Gen. 6:Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
Knowing this, I no longer want to throw my temper tantrums. Dt. 6:16 Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. 17 Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. 18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers.
With time, I have come to appreciate the Fear of the Lord. It is not the type of fear that deems Him to be a harsh taskmaster: Ex. 3:The LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.” Rather, He tells us: Mt. 11:30 “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Prov. 1:7– The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Ps. 111:10- The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever.
Prov. 14:26-27 In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Job, after losing all except a wife who told him: Job 2:9 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”, was told by God: – And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding. (Job 28:28).
Today, I eat my vegetables. Today, I appreciate my vegetables. Today, I desire my vegetables. Today, Jesus is not merely my Saviour (not at all to minimize what He has done for me by suffering unimaginable agony to purchase that Salvation for me with every drop of His blood), He is also my Lord. Today, I count the costs. Today, I pay the costs knowing I am obtaining the deal of a lifetime.
25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ currently available at 3 locations:
Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/2017/03/the-pain-of-holidays-after-the-loss-of-loved-ones/
Please help spread the word. TY!! (((HUGS)))