Sunday, April 24, 2011


Everything changes when you have a child.  Everything.  For me, there has been a seismic shift in every area of my life and I suppose that's how it should be.  Easter now means shopping for smocked dresses, frilly white bows, and tiny sandals, & soon it will mean making sure the 'Easter Bunny' is sufficiently impressive.  I will pause for a moment for some photos of Reagan's Easter attire:

Jesus' death & resurrection, which the world briefly pauses at Easter to take note of, are of great significance to a Christian every day.  However, as a new parent, the hope that the resurrection offers becomes even more precious.  I look at Reagan & she is the embodiment of all that is good & wonderful about this life.  Her face radiates innocence, but I know that inevitably she will, Lord willing, grow & mature & one day become cognizant of her sin.  Words are not adequate to describe how thankful I am that thousands of years before Reagan was formed, Jesus died for her sins so that when she reaches a crossroads in her life & realizes she is a sinner, she will not be without a way to rectify her condition.

Not being able to meet your child's needs is perhaps a parent's greatest fear.  I can feed her, clothe her, warm her up, make sure the Easter Bunny pays her a visit, rock her to sleep, & lavish her with attention, but her human condition dictates that she needs a Savior & I am helpless to meet this need. I am thankful for the free gift of salvation because it provides a means by which I might keep myself out of hell & because it makes it bearable to say goodbye to those who die in the Lord, but above all, I am now poignantly aware of what a valuable gift it is because it means my daughter's sins were covered years & years ago because the Father knew Reagan needed a sacrifice & He offered His Son in her stead, providing her a Savior.

We all deserve hell.  We do.  It is only because of the boundless love of the Father & His willingness to watch His Son suffer that we have any chance of spending eternity somewhere other than hell.  If I were God (& I rarely begin sentences this way), and Reagan could stand in the place of sinners & suffer in order to cover their sins, offering them a way out of hell, I will tell you that you would all be hell bound. I couldn't do it & I don't know how God did; I can't stand watching Reagan get her shots even though I know she needs them.  Having a child makes me all the more aware of what a tremendous act of love the cross was, for both Jesus & the Father.  As a parent, I cannot imagine the Father's torment as Christ was shedding His blood - and for the very people who were tearing His flesh.  What restraint the Father has that He allowed it to happen, & how much must He love me, & Reagan, to provide us a way to be with Him forever when that way cost Him His Son.  Nothing is more gripping.  Nothing.  I guess that's why it is the greatest story ever told.

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