On Thursday of last week, as we began school and read our Bible Story for the day, we got to the story of Good Friday. Lucas has heard about Jesus, he has seen the cross, he has scattered ideas about God and heaven--all hard things to really comprehend for most people that know English or have heard the stories all their lives, let alone someone in his situation. As we read it he became very puzzled about the "bad guys" and since he is into law enforcement he said he would take care of those bad guys that want to hurt Jesus and he would throw them in jail. A sweet sentiment to want to protect Jesus....=) However, I did try to explain that Jesus had it handled---
being God afterall---
and all that stuff about sitting on the throne ruling over all creation...ya....I think God has it handled.
But, as we read on and we read about him dying, etc. He was very sad. It was mostly about this wonderful person, Jesus, being hurt and the bad guys needing to be punished and him taking control of the situation. Trying to explain that Jesus voluntarily bore the burden is a challenge.
I'm just going to be frank here--- Lucas struggles with accountability and control (don't we all?). But, his comes with the baggage of his past and not having someone hold him accountable. When he disobeys, etc. he blames others for it and cannot see that the loss of toys, etc is because "he" made a choice. In the moment, he just blames me for taking the toy away, removing a privelege, etc. It's my fault that he cannot play with his toys. His demeanor changes into something very ugly. No matter what direction I go at it from and try to explain, he just struggles with taking ownership for sin. It is extremely frustrating because sometimes there is such a disconnect. Peter is convinced otherwise. He thinks he "gets" it and is putting up a front to protect himself from the accountability. Either way, he is really good at disconnecting. That is not good and we are working through that. (and I did work through that for THREE hours on Thursday...argh)
From the parenting perspective this makes discipline very difficult. (violins please)
But, when I sit back and think about the story of Christ's death on Good Friday. I wonder how many of us have that same disconnect. Particularly those of us that are surrounded by the availability of churches, Bible studies, resources unending. I think about what God must think.
This God of the universe who created it all and sits on His throne in all majesty and glory.
This God that cares about the individual so much to come and enter into our lives on a personal level.
This God that sent His ONLY son to this sinful planet to teach us but also to Die in our place so that we don't have to pay the punishment for our sin.
This God, must look at us sometimes and say
"What are you thinking"?
"How can you really be THAT stubborn?"
"How can you not see what you are doing is hurting Me and it is hurting you?"
"How long will it take till you get it....till you "get" Me?"
"How long will you blame others for what only you need to take ownership of?"
The story in our book stopped with Good Friday, and the next story of course was about the resurrection of Jesus. Technically, I could have waited for that part, but I could see some confusion in his eyes. He had that childlike wonder and sadness for why anyone would want to hurt someone like Jesus. He also had some anger about it. I was praying as I was reading, that he would hear truth in this story that is so central to our faith.
I could not leave him spiritually "hanging" until Friday to hear the rest of the story.
So we went on and read about how Jesus's friends came to the tomb 3 days later and found it empty. The angel appeared and told them "He Is Risen"...
His eyes lit up and he was so happy, although again, hard to understand it all. I tried to explain that even today Jesus is ALIVE and he is in heaven and we will see him someday too. But that He also lives with us in our hearts. I thought it would be a great idea to then remind him about how Jacob lives with Jesus and there is hope in that......
I pointed to a picture of Jacob and my daddy and said "see, now Jacob and grandpa live with Jesus..isn't that great?".......
Tender tears began to roll down his little cheeks.
He misses Jacob.
He never met Jacob.
But, he knows Jacob would have been another big brother for him to play with.
We've been down this path before.
Our boy is still greiving for the brother he never met....I cannot bear to tell him quite yet that there were 2 more brothers he didn't meet.
I was somewhat regretful that I even brought it up again, but the reality is this is our family. And if there is one thing I've learned over the past 21 years of grief---it is this---let it flow. And everyone takes it at their own pace and needs to do what they need to do to get through it. It just suprises me sometimes that he grieves for someone he never met. There is a tenderness in his little spirit.
Our Bible Time took a little longer Thursday.
But, we covered Good Friday and Easter Sunday .....in October.
I'm just praising God for the opportunity to minister to this sweet soul.
And for teaching me, through him, about what I must look like to God sometimes.
I'll be on my knees today
remembering what Christ did
believing God for all He has in store.
I have so much to learn.
there is Grace....
7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Now THAT is good news for all people. Heirs with Christ in eternal life. How does it get any better than that? The God of the Universe that must often be frustrated with our behavior, offers Grace through Christ. ya gotta LOVE that!