Friday, March 22, 2013

dads and pain

Read I Peter 1 and Isaiah 63

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  I Peter 1:2
You, oh Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer of old. Isaiah 63:16

I heard a debate on public radio over the merits of religion and the skeptic said, “So at the very core of your religion is this idea that God had a Son, and He sent His Son to die a hideous death because God hates sin so much and this is the only way He could pacify His own righteous anger against sin. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.”

Dads have a particularly odd relationship with their sons. As a father myself, I know I really want the best for my sons. But I also know that my greatest satisfaction as a dad is seeing one of my sons go through a lot of pain and not wimping out. My oldest son was a runt like his dad, but he played football until he broke his neck after his sophomore year in high school. Each time he was hit, he would go flying. At least once we had to haul him off to the emergency room because his bell was rung especially good. I really didn’t want my son to be hurt. I love my son. But I was so proud of him that he was so tough.  

A universal complaint of mothers to her husband is, “Honey, don’t play so rough with the kids.”

We had a friend who’s son was deathly afraid of dogs. What was the dad’s solution? He brought home a big lively, jumpy dog. His wife was mad. His kid was terrified. I, as a fellow dad, was amused. How did it work out? This boy who now is married and has timid children of his own, has an absolutely huge dog. Which his kids love.

What an odd thing the father did in agreeing to the request of the prodigal son. Certainly he knew this young son of his would use the inheritance that he asked for in a way that would not merely be wasteful, but harmful to himself.

So what is it about dads and pain? Don’t we understand that we need to protect our children from this bad thing? Isn’t it like basic morality that one does what he can to not inflict pain on another, and in like manner to help others avoid pain, especially one’s own children? To do otherwise is to be a beast, right?

Maybe not. Peter continues on in his epistle, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now, for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold…—may be found to result in glory and honor.” Peter 1:6&7. The pain itself brings out the glorious reality.

So why did God send His own precious Son to die? Among other things, doesn’t it absolutely prove to us the intensity of His love for us? And doesn’t it show that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the mightiest and most glorious of saviors that He willingly and triumphantly went through such pain for us? 

Question: What painful situation may the Father using in your life for a glorious purpose?

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