Saturday, August 4, 2012

Not My Cross

(To clarify... I am posting some stories that I wrote a while back.   So don't be alarmed by this one.)

When someone you love is hurting, you want to help. You want to say or do something that will make it better. You feel helpless to make a difference.

My sister's husband, Larry, passed away this week. He was only 53. We all love him so much. He didn't die because of an extended illness. His death was sudden and unexpected and overwhelming to his wife, children, grandchildren, extended family and friends. It was overwhelming to me. Nobody had time to mentally prepare themselves for it.

It was an accident. But not.

It was God's decision. God does not have accidents. It was Larry's time to go and be with our Lord.

It is the time for his loved ones to grieve and mourn for him.

And we are grieving and mourning greatly.

But we do not mourn as those without hope. We know that one day we will see him again in the presence of Jesus.

In the meantime, we still hurt. My sister's heart is shattered. And I feel helpless.

I prayed this morning and told God that I would take my sister's hurt from her if I could. Just give it to me, not her. I can't bear to see her pain.

And He said to me, "will you sacrifice your son or daughter? A grandchild?"

What a question! It set me back and made me think about what I had prayed. To take her hurt and loss on myself.

Jesus said, "No greater love has a man than this, to lay down his life for another."

Would I lay down my life for my sister? I think that I would. I like to think that I would. I love her so much.

But would I lay down the life of my child for her? If by doing so it would bring Larry back to life?

NO. Emphatically NO! I love my children too much. Losing one of my children would be more than I could do. The pain would be unbelievable.

God knew that would be my answer.

And the enormity of God's gift to man in the sacrifice of His Son washed over me. The sacrifice that gives us life. The pain and incredible heart rending torture He willingly and willfully accepted is hard to believe.

In order for God to give her heartbreak to me, I would have to sacrifice one I love. Feel the pain that she feels.

He said, "Kathy... this is not your cross to bear. It is your sister's. It is My plan for her. You can not carry it for her."

So I learned a lesson about the vastness of God's willingness to endure the anguish of a broken heart in order to love and save His creation. He laid down the life of His only Son to give us life. He suffered terribly as He watched His Son die a hideous death. For me... for you. I would never do that.

I also learned that I can not assume His plan and purpose for another person. No matter how much I want to. It is His plan for them. Not for me. It is their mountain to climb or valley to cross. It will be their mountaintop experience. Or pit of despair. Their ultimate victory in Christ. How could I ever dare to take that from them?

Oh... one more thing I learned. I am not helpless. I have a mighty and loving God and He hears and answers my prayers for those I love.

I am not helpless.

On the contrary, my prayers are powerful and effective. I lift my sister, her children, and grandchildren to Him. The One who loves. The One who heals. The One who hears. The One who restores. The One who gives life.

My God is mighty to save. He is compassionate and loving beyond all understanding. He has already made the necessary sacrifice that results in the healing and restoration of our hearts and souls.

Thank you God.. Thank you for sending Jesus.

And please loving Father, please speed the healing of my sister's heart and soul. I love her so much. And I know that You love her more.


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