Loving hard, Suffering much

I, (Dan) have always been one to embrace with all that I am. If I love something I do not love it half way. This has been true of my many sins but it has also ben true of the numerous ways God grants it to me to display his glory. I love my wife, she has and continues to be a gift of grace to me. So it should come as no particular surprise that when Casey told me we where pregnant I fell in love again. This love was different, I had never felt like this before. I was both excited and extremely anxious over our baby's life. It was too good to be true. How could God give to me, an intense sinner such a gift? Something must be wrong. There is no good theology in this, just honesty. 

     That day came like a vapor. I have never been more excited and scared all in one moment. Time stood still. The clock was ticking as Casey lay there and we both were wondering the time of his birth.It hit me that I was watching over my two greatest responsibilities in this world and I could do nothing to help either of them. We had talked relentlessly and thought endlessly over the prior two months about this moment. None of that seemed to help me fulfill what I was willing to do for both of them in that moment. I have never wanted to fulfill my wife's hopes and dreams more. I have never wanted to fight for my son more. I didn't get it and to some extent I still don't, but I have never been more in love with both my son and my wife. 

Could this be grace? Love should bring Joy and happiness. To love is to run the risk of suffering. I find this idea to be so true. Those who love much will face suffering in this world. To those who are without belief in the purposes of a sovereign God, there is still suffering but it bears the imprint of vanity. Nicholas Woltersorff (Philosophy, Yale) says that all his life he had been taught to love the world as a gift, to love God through the world. This meant to love his wife, his sons, plants, nature, culture, learning. However, he says it set him up for suffering. It did not tell him that an invitation to love is an invitation to suffer. He had to find this out the hard way and so did I. But one amazing point he makes shook me today as I needed it to. God loves the World, and He himself has suffered on behalf of the world, and when we suffer He suffers. God loves with suffering love. This brings me comfort to know that sovereign love is also suffering love. So I choose to love with the guarantee that in the future it will mean more suffering, and with that suffering a surpassing Joy and longing for home.

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