Friday, July 18, 2008

Knowing God

I use to be able to do a lot of things I can't do anymore now that I'm a mom.  I use to lead Bible studies and clean up the church.  I use to spend hours upon hours studying Scripture daily.  I even spent years working on graduate degrees in order to eventually reach thousands of students with deeper and fuller knowledge of the Word of God and thus touch the world in a hopefully profound way for Christ.  Now when I think about all that is not getting done, I feel torn.  All these things I did - they were really good things.  It is scandalous to think that one little baby could be more important than all those people I could be reaching.  But every so often God gently touches me with the truth that my love for this baby is the outcome of living into His image.  Today the message came to me in an unfamiliar hymn I stumbled upon.  It's speaking about Jesus, but I see in it my life as I live the life of a mother, as well:

Open are the gifts of God, gifts of love to mind and sense; 
hidden is love's agony, love's endeavor, love's expense.

Love that gives, gives evermore, gives with zeal, with eager hands;
spares not, keeps not, all outpours, ventures all, its all expends.

Drained is love in making full, bound in setting others free,
poor in making many rich, weak in giving power to be.

Therefore he who shows us God helpless hangs upon the tree,
and the nails and crown of thorns tell of what God's love must be.

(UMH 194, verses 2-5)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Itchy Sin

My daughter has a rash all over her belly and on her wrist and ankle.  It is so pitiful.  We can't seem to make it go away.  And it bothers her so much that of course she scratches it.  I say, "Don't scratch it!" and she does a remarkable job for a 22 month old at resisting the scratching temptation.  But it just itches so much...

I once heard someone make the astute observation that sin gives you the best it has to offer right up front, and then it's all downhill from there.  

It seems to me that the moment of giving into temptation is a lot like scratching a persistent itch - you want to scratch it, you want to, you want to, and finally you give in and do it.  And, wow, for one glorious half millisecond it feels so good.  But then it itches even more than before, hurts even worse than before, and turns even redder and more swollen than before.