“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Karie (my wife) told me yesterday that it is hard to not think that God is punishing us. I understand her thoughts so very much. A year ago when we lost our son Justus, I couldn’t help but slip into the thought pattern that God was punishing me because of past sin. I wavered back and forth, hovering between “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” and “he visits the iniquity of the fathers upon their children’s children.” Which one shall I believe today?
The Christian life is a continual preaching to oneself the truth. God is just and must punish every sin, just like any good judge would do. The most amazing thing in all of the world is that God punished all of mine and my wife’s sin already. I can not fathom that God could possibly add an additional chromosome into my little girls DNA that would so contort her to the point of death, for the sin of my past life as an unbeliever. Can you? God doesn’t forget, but he does forgive. And frankly, he did punish someone for my past sin, and that person was his son Jesus. How could he punish us both?
God does indeed visit the sin of a father upon his children’s children; for his word says so. Yet Jesus is the children’s child who was thus punished. This has been fulfilled in Jesus and I am this day so thankful.
With this sweet truth, me and my aching wife can and should, with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Receive mercy … Mercy?
It took me three days to understand what my friend meant when he said that Mercy needed her Mommy and Daddy right now. We found out last Monday that our baby girl had Trisomy 13. It took me until Wednesday night to speak to my dear girl. To my shame, I was unable to utter any words at all, unsure of the purpose. I am being raw and true here and I know that it is not right, but I was unconvinced at first if Mercy was really a child at all. What does it mean to be made in the image of God anyhow? Does it mean that you have human form? The ability to reason? An eternal soul? Does my baby have any of these?
Wednesday night my wife and I lay in bed just about to say goodnight. My mind kept wavering between two decisions. I pulled the covers down to my wife’s stomach and told her that I needed to do something. I placed my head on her beautiful belly and spoke to Mercy for the first time since we learned the news. I told her that I was sorry and that I loved her. I was beginning to understand that she does indeed need the both of us and not just her Mom.
As the days go on, I am learning that I am the one who needs my baby girl Mercy. Suffering produces what again? Oh yes, perseverance. Perseverance is what God knows that I need. And I pray I learn this time around. We are in a time of need. And the grace that we need is to be found in the throne room. The door, I trust, will never be locked for those of us clinging to faith in the One who sits on the throne. Drawing near with confidence, drawing near with confidence, drawing near with confidence. Keep preaching Scott, keep preaching.