Posted by appolus on November 26, 2013
The holidays are here. We see people rushing to and fro. Images abound on billboards and TV and for many it is a truly wonderful time where family and friends gather together. And I say God bless them all. Yet there are many folks who dread this time of the year. Perhaps an empty seat at the table reminds you of someone dear who is no longer with you? Or maybe it’s the people in the seats that’s the problem? Maybe your family is not exactly the Cleavers? My own son will not be sitting at my table and has not now for the last four years. He is in prison. Fathers feel the need to be strong. You have to steel yourself. I believe that there is no greater agony than watching your child suffer and being powerless. This is not the first time I have felt this kind of agony with this, my eldest son who is now 30. When he was two he was burned over 60% of his body with third degree burns. Part of his treatment, to keep him alive, was to plunge him into a salt bath everyday and remove and replace his bandages. The nurses would have a parent help them with this. If you have ever had a small cut on your finger and got some salt in it, you know how painful that is. Now imagine a small child having to endure the agony of being forced into a salt bath day after day after day. The absolute helplessness I felt was a hell on earth as I helped force my child into this bath as he kicked and screamed and cursed. There was no way he could possibly understand why his dad was doing this to him.
Oftentimes we go through things in our lives which seem to make absolutely no sense. There is simply no way of understanding the bigger picture as we are swallowed up in the agony of the circumstances. We are like my two-year old son who did not have the capacity to understand that this was actually for the saving of his life. Isa 55:8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways, says Jehovah. Have you not found that to be true brothers and sisters? Can we possibly think that our heavenly Father watches these things in our lives in a dispassionate manner? Does he not weep? Yet He knows what we do not and often times cannot possibly know. How many imagine that for one second Our heavenly Father watched His Son being rejected, spat on, tortured and killed and was dispassionate? If we as parents can almost die as we watch our children suffer, how much more so our Heavenly Father? Can you even begin to imagine the Love He has for you and me that He would allow His Son and He to go through that? No no brothers and sisters, His ways are higher than our ways. We will not fully understand the passion of it all until we stand before Him and we will tremble when we fully know the depths of the sacrifice. Not one guilty soul will raise a word in protest as they are led into eternal darkness.
Another Thanksgiving and you’re not here
When no one’s looking I shed a tear
When all the festivities are done
I’ll smile, but my hearts with you my son
I’ve fought with lions, I’ve fought with bears
Yet I’ve been ravaged by all my cares
I’d fight my way through a hundred men
Just to have you home again
Who knows the pain of a father’s heart?
He keeps on going he plays the part
When days become months and months become years
Still no one sees his secret tears
Ah Lord Jesus have you heard my cry?
Without your love I would surely die
Ah Lord Jesus have you heard my plea?
You have indeed, tis thee, tis thee
Deeper in the valley, closer to you
Only your love has brought me through
One day I’ll look and see my prodigal son
Then I’ll know a new day’s begun.