November 27, 2013
God’s Gifts in Dark Times
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32, NIV)
Friend to Friend
I stood at Steven’s bedroom door, watching this now 17-year-old son asleep in a tangle of sheets and limbs. He was six feet tall, needed a shave, and sported a mass of shaggy, thick brown hair. I thought about how much I loved this boy.
When Steven was born, we had no idea we would be raising him as an only child. Years of infertility struggles and the loss of our second child left us with a hollow echo of the heart that we feared would never be filled. And yet, when I looked at this sleeping man-child, love filled every nook and cranny of my heart till I thought it would burst. Still, there was always the wondering what life would have been like had more Jaynes children filled the rooms, scattered their toys, and left handprints on the walls.
“Lord,” I prayed, “You know how much I love children and how I always longed to be a mom to a house full of children. I know Your ways are higher than our ways, and that You are my heavenly Father who knows what’s best for me, but God, could You show me a purpose behind the pain of those difficult years of longing? You certainly don’t owe me an explanation, but I’d love to have a bit of encouragement today. I’d love a nugget of gold.”
Standing in the door frame, watching the rhythmic rise and fall of Steven’s steady breathing, God’s Word washed over me.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
“Is that You, Lord?” I asked. “Is that my nugget of gold?”
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The words washed over me again like a spring rain on parched ground, and my breath caught. It was as if the Holy Spirit illuminated Steven like a lone actor on the stage. Steven…my one and only son. For the first time in my life I truly grasped the height, the depth and the breadth of those familiar words. Jesus…God’s one and only Son.
Yes, I have a one and only son. I love many people in this world, but none enough to sacrifice my only son. And yet God loved me that much. He loved you that much. He loved us enough to sacrifice His one and only Son in order to make eternal life with Him possible.
All through those years of infertility and loss, Satan, the enemy, taunted me with words of doubt. God doesn’t love you, he’d say. If He loved you, He’d give you what you asked for. He doesn’t love you. You can’t trust Him with your heart.
And yet, at that moment standing in Steven’s door frame, I realized just how much God did love me. He had shone the light of His love on the enemy’s lie and revealed the truth.
With tears spilling down my cheeks, I thanked God for helping me understand His great love—for giving me a living, breathing daily reminder of that love every time I looked at my boy. If that was the only purpose behind the years of infertility and loss of a child, then that was enough.
The Bible says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). What does God really mean by “all things”? Most likely He means all things—the good, the bad and the ugly. In every dark circumstance of life, I believe that there is a nugget of gold or a hidden treasure just waiting to be discovered. However, for that to happen, we must look beyond the dirt, push it aside, and search beneath the surface.
Is it easy? No. Is it messy? Usually. Is it worth it? Always.
Has there been a trial or loss in your life? If so, I wonder if God has a valuable treasure hidden beneath the surface of the pain, just waiting to be discovered. Do you trust Him enough to push the dirt aside and see?
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me so much that You gave Your only Son so that I could receive eternal life the moment I believed in Him.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
You know, it brings tears to my eyes every time I think of that day standing in Steven’s door frame. How about you? Was there a particular time when you knew that you knew just how much God loves you?
Perhaps it came on the heels of a difficult situation? Perhaps it came during a time of joy? Think about that today. Praise God for that today. Remember.
I’d love to hear about your glory moment. In one sentence, join me on www.facebook.com and share it with your GiGs. Here’s how we’ll start…One day I was reminded of God’s love for me when…
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Originally published Wednesday, 27 November 2013.