In a few days Holy Week will begin. The week we remember Christ’s sufferings on the cross as the propitiation for our sins. Or more simply put…we remember how much He loves us. We remember the depths of our sin, and the extent of His sacrifice. Both the Son’s…and the Father’s.
Today, I’ve been thinking about the Father’s. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of “giving up your son.” One of the things that people seem to write a lot in the sympathy cards we receive is “I can’t imagine,” or “I can only imagine the suffering you are experiencing in having to give up your son.” And it’s true. Most people can only imagine at best. But, I am continually overwhelmed by the reality that GOD…the Creator of the Universe and the Author of all life, who could have written any story any way He wanted, both ours and His…can actually imagine exactly what we are feeling in having to give up our son to Him.
Sometimes on the hardest days of grief my heart cries out to God, “Do you know how much this hurts!” He does. “Do you know what it feels like to live apart from my precious son!” He did. “Are you with me in this endless searing pain? I AM. I’m so thankful that in this very painful chapter of our lives, we have been given a Book filled with reminders that the Great I AM understands.
And amazingly, HE CHOSE THIS.
On the night that I went into the hospital to check on Charlie’s heartbeat…I was in no way anticipating that our baby boy had already died. I was so unsuspecting that anything was wrong that I even went to the hospital alone.
But God...willingly placed Jesus in Mary’s womb, knowing for what purpose He was giving up His Son.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Galatians 4;4-5
On the night Charlie was born and I got my first glimpse of our precious little boy’s body, nothing in me wanted to give him up to God.
But God…chose with great intentionality to give up fellowship with His Son.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
And as we lay Charlie’s body in the ground, if God had asked me in that moment of agonizing pain, “Will you willingly give up life on earth with Charlie so that you and others can know Me more deeply through this? OR…would you like for Me to give him back?” I would have chosen Charlie. Every day of the week, and twice on Sunday. And I still would.
“But God…demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
This Easter season feels so different than any I’ve experienced before. I never realized how painful it is to let go of someone you love so much. Charlie and I had 300 days of unbroken fellowship sharing my body and living life together, and suddenly my little one was gone. It is not what I wanted. It is so very much harder than I had even thought possible. It is so very painful to live with this suffering and to trust God in what He has chosen. But how can I not? He chose to give up His very Son, so that we might be adopted as His own.
I am so very thankful He did. Thankful He who could have chosen something different…Chose suffering. Chose separation. Chose sorrow. And by it…Chose us.