Today I lost my grandfather. He was 85 years old, and he loved his family. It was time. We all knew it was coming, and honestly its for the best. He suffered, and we never wanted that for him. When things become difficult I have always turned to writing to help me process. A few months ago I felt God calling me to start a blog. I definitely have not been as consistent with it as I would have liked, but things come and go, and I feel very strongly there are some things God has for me to share with you.
I recently started 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting with my church, and let me tell you…its HARD!!! We have prayer service in the morning at 6:00am…thats so early! Through much prayer I decided to do somewhat of a Daniel Fast. I am fasting bread and sweets all the time, and I only eat meat once a day. Let me tell you denying your flesh is hard, but it has only been 4 days and I have already seen the fruit of this fast. Now you might find that hard to believe considering my grandfather died today, but I can tell you that if he would have lived any longer it would have only been in pure agony. I am so thankful to my Father that he took away the pain and suffering and reunited my grandfather with my grandmother.
So in this 21 Day Fast I am really seeking God in several different areas. However, last night I came home from church and decided to watch the movie Son of God. Now let me tell you, this is probably my most favorite movie. I re-watch it so often because I am so in love with the whole thing. The actor who portrays Jesus does such a phenomenal job I don’t even have words. He is exactly how I would imagine Jesus would have been. He is kind, compassionate, slow to speak, wise, and many many more things. You so easily as a viewer fall in love with him. They also do a wonderful job portraying Mary the Mother of Jesus. I’ve always had a soft spot for Mary because for as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a mother. I can imagine Mary being around 15 years old and finding out that she was going to give birth to a child….and she wasn’t even married. Now I grew up Southern Baptist, and I know how having children outside of marriage is viewed in today’s society…can you imagine how much worse it was then? Joseph wasn’t even going to marry her!! Sadly, this isn’t even the worst part. So often I hear people talk about Mary and they say things like, “Oh, she was so brave to have a baby and be un-married” We always seem to think that this was the hardest thing Mary was going to have to face. I, however, think that if we could ask Mary she would say we were so wrong. See, Mary had to watch her son be whipped, beaten, tortured, spit upon, and crucified. She had to watch her son die…and for what…well to forgive the world…to have a relationship with you and I. I can almost guarantee the crucifixion was the hardest road Mary had to walk. When I watch the movie, Son of God, I am always taken to a place of tears for Mary. She knew what was coming. She knew he would be killed, and she knew it had to be done. But this was her son…she had carried him in her womb for 9 months, she had fed him from her breast, she taught him to walk, to talk, she bathed and clothed him, she kissed his knees when he fell, she told him stories, she loved him. Their bond was no different than the bond we have with our children…she knew he was God, but that was her little boy and they were going to kill him. I can promise you I am not that strong. If you asked me to sacrifice my child for the rest of the world I have to admit I would probably save my baby before I would care to save anyone else. But that is why God chose Mary and not me. Because in the midst of Mary’s grief she knew she could trust in the God that blessed her with her son in the beginning. God had carried her this far, and she knew He would not forsake her.
If you haven’t seen the movie I encourage you to sit down and watch it. There is a very powerful scene that occurs when Jesus is being nailed to the cross. He looks over as his left hand is about to be nailed to the cross, and there stands Satan in the crowd watching. As soon as Jesus spots him Jesus stops wailing and crying. He closes his mouth and stares directly at Satan as if to say, “You think you are winning, but I am not finished with you.” I love love love this. Why? Because Jesus knew as soon as He died He was heading to hell to defeat death. He knew that his Father would win. He knew what the plan was, and even though he was in more pain than any of us can ever imagine, He was ready for the fight.
I could go on forever about the powerful moments in the Bible that this film brings to life, but I believe 2 of the most important things we can learn is to trust in our Father the way that Mary did, and to be ready for the fight the way Jesus was, no matter what our circumstances look like.
Loosing my grandfather is not easy. From the outside our circumstances look horrible, but the reality is this: The same God that created the world, the same God that saved the Israelites, the same God that called Mary to be the mother of Jesus, the same God that came to earth to be reconciled with his children, the same God that suffered and died on a cross and defeated death by his resurrection, is the same God that sits with me now as my heart breaks for my family over our loss. The truth is I can trust him to make this ok. I can trust him to carry me through this. I can trust him to heal the brokenness. I can trust him, and that is always enough.
Even when it doesn’t feel like it, always remember that God is FOR you and He LOVES you. There is absolutely nothing greater than that.