As a Sunday school teacher, something that Treasuring Christ asks each of its teachers to do is to really live in the text that they are teaching that week. This week has been unlike an other week that I have ever encountered. A deep ache encompassed me and although psalm 139 was whispering in my ear, I didn’t find my soul being satisfied with the truths that often bring me comfort. The spirit is so faithful and is at work teaching me about the ever abiding presence of God as well as my perfect oneness with the happy triune Godhead, but this week…was different. Death, suffering, sickness, and loss have been the theme of this last week and although they are an outcome of the fallen world that I abide in, they don’t normally hit so close to home.
There is a little boy that I longed to love, cradle and teach about the splendor of being a royal subject in a mighty kingdom, the Kingdom of God. Imagining him peering at me from around the corner with a head tilted to the side then running towards me like a gust of wind to be swept up into my arms, lifting him above, far above my head and catching him again and again until we both were dizzy were the pictures that I was capturing in my head and hopeful about becoming reality.
Asher, Asher is his name. He is the son of two of my dearest friends. Although I had wanted to lift him high in the sky and share with him the glories of God, God had greater plans. God’s plan was to take him. Instead of his parents and myself teaching him about the glory of God, he is getting to behold it. As I write this I am thinking, wow, what a better plan, what a better way. He will never know the danger, death, and separation that sin brings into the world. The evils that abides in the heart and whispers lies, he will never know, he will never have to know any unbelief, for when you see him you are like him. (1John)
Although, God’s plan is better my heart is having a difficult time being affectionate about this plan of God. This plan of God is laid before me, and although I don’t understand each piece of this mosaic, God is teaching me a lesson, a lesson involving life, and the creator of it. I start in Hebrews this Sunday with my teenage lambs. I am supposed to be able to break down this book written to Jewish believers who were flirting with the levitical sacrificial customs of the old law, those who were filled with a knowledge about this new covenant that Jesus ushered in , yet no affections to follow him as Lord, and those who just didn’t believe and see the Greatness of Jesus above all things.
As I was sitting on my deck, ipod plugged in listening to Sufjan Stevens rendition of Holy, Holy, Holy, it hit me. I have been living in the text. One major theme in the book of Hebrews exalts Jesus, Jesus as supreme, the greatest, the chief, the first, and the one who is better than. He is the giver, because he is the creator of all things (Hebrews 1) he has a right over all things, he is greater than life because he created it. This is exactly the lesson that God is teaching me, which plants me in the midst of Hebrews.
My value should be upon the giver of life, not life itself. The supreme Jesus, is it. God really showed me that I valued life as greater than God. I hurt because I want my dear friends to have their baby, but God (the but Gods in the scriptures are so sweet) has a greater plan, because he is the creator of Asher and has a loving right to rule over him in whatever way he chooses because he is greater than. Praise God that He is. Asher is much more happier learning about God from the source rather than our feeble attempts to explain or reflect his goodness.
Paul says to rejoice in all things. Peter says not to be surprised, Jesus says surely I am coming soon.
To which I say come quickly Lord Jesus, your creation eagerly awaits its adoption as sons (Rom 8). I think Spurgeon said somewhere in one of his writings that Pain and suffering were some of the best books to have on the book shelf. I think I know what he means. The story of suffering or pain leave you with rich lessons that you will never forget, since you or someone you know closely are the main character and are partcipating in what we often read about in the scriptures or in someone elses blog.
Tomorrow morning I can pull this book off the shelf that Asher helped me to write and teach from the lesson beginning to be learned about the only one who is Supreme.
grace upon grace.