Thursday, August 3, 2017
“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30.
I can’t help but to see this scene from the standpoint of a mother. The greatest finish ever in history was the very thing that was the most devastating for Mary. We know that Mary was visited by an angel who prophesied that she would carry the son of God. She knew she was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She knew that His name was to be Jesus. But, I hope she didn’t know as she laid Him in the manger, she would eventually watch Him be laid in the grave. I hope she didn’t know that as He was surrounded by loved ones as a teen that He would be completely abandoned by almost everyone. I hope she didn’t know that her son would one day die a brutal death for the sins of the world. I hope she didn’t know as she watched Him play among the trees as a boy that He would one-day hang on a tree as a man. I hope she didn’t know…
As parents, we have such great dreams for our children, our lives, and our families. We walk out each day with assumptions and expectations. We assume that life will go as we planned and dreamed of as young adults. We expect the good and usually don’t see the bad coming, and for that we thank God. It is the gracious and compassionate providence of God that we don’t see before we must, and we don’t know before it’s necessary.
For me, I’m glad I didn’t know I was going to turn my back on a marriage that I had vowed to God to uphold. I’m glad I didn’t know that I was going to live under the fear of death for a child who left home at 15. I’m glad I didn’t know that I would break my husband’s heart and trust by secretly mounting debt against our family. I’m glad I didn’t know that I would have to make a choice that could have alienated me against someone I adore. I’m glad I didn’t know that I would watch my dad take hold of Christ’s arm as I was holding onto his. I’m glad I didn’t know that I would help my brother-in-law walk my sister home to heaven when she was 43.
These are the things that prove God’s love for me. He has brought finishing grace to all of these situations just as He did with Christ. God never begins anything in our lives without a finishing plan. Our pain will always be comforted by His peace, our mourning will eventually be replaced with His joy, and what seems finished on earth will begin again in Heaven. For this Lord, I say thank you for finishing grace.
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” Phil 1:6 (MSG)