Do you do as you please?
It’s so much easier to do it, all of it, for ourselves.
Staring blankly at the wall, time feels slow, and abrupt all at once, and I let out a giant sigh. I hear William through the walls singing his version of goodnight prayers and Grayson is moaning himself to sleep as always.
I just got done my post-bedtime scrolling — half-reading, mostly just seeing — and again, though I’m not sure why I’m surprised, I’m saddened, frustrated and have that pit-in-my-stomach nausea about all that is out there.
How will we raise these babies in all of this? It can be absolutely overwhelming.
More affairs, divorce. Illness, the chronic gray, pleas for help in hidden corners. Abortion, withheld mercy, lives taken. Sexual everything for the sake of self and lust. Fraud and debt pits. Hearts and scandal and excuses and low expectations. Pornography, exploitation, degradation, downright cruelty. People just being plain mean. A lot of confusion. And prideful, hardened and very few hearts willing to see or know the hearts of another. Just because they think what they think and what they think is obviously right.
At least all of this can seem this way as I catch a very deep breath on my heavy chest, think about sneaking downstairs for some potato chips and pray for Jesus to come back before my children are twelve.
I don’t lead a blind life, I know we live broken– I face myself every day, but my goodness. I feel this pull more and more.
To either pull the covers over my head and cry; out of sheer exhaustion, madness and angst for what world our boys are growing up in. Or, and fighting for more so, to pull the bootstraps tight and gather my friends that are also strategically pursuing righteousness in this really bent and confused world.
None is righteous, no not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God… and the way of peace they have not known (Romans 3)
Our sin is too deep. Our ugliness too vile. Our selfishness runs fast. From our head to our toes we live in total depravity on our own accord. Our hearts want what they want. Our eyes see what they see. We pursue the well of our emotions, yet continue to find our mouths dry. Our lips let slip what the heart and mind render true.
Our flesh wins without the Lord.
I fail without the Lord.
I have no peace where Christ doesn’t dwell, where I don’t invite Him in.
But the beautiful and treasured news that we know,
We have been made righteous through His faithfulness and through our faith (Romans 5)
And because of that,
We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have peace, we have peace, we have peace… but only because the son of God died for me…for you.
Have I come to terms with that? Have I truly tasted and seen just how good the Lord has been to me? Have I closed my eyes to look at the grave that was left behind so I don’t have to have one forever? So my babies can have a home forever?
Do I live in a way that reflects the costly — bloody, painful, marred — sacrifice of the death that freed me?
Am I actually living in gratitude for my freed-up heart?
Our boys will know, as best as we can share and live it out, that they were not created by a half-in Creator. They will know that the God of their heart sacrificed the heartbeat of His son so that their heart could beat eternally. They will know that the grace bestowed to them, gifted to them freely, was not cheap.
There is no cheap grace, though the world screams it. Begs for it. Numbs us. Tries to convince us of it and normalize it.
Even, and especially, within Christian communities and circles. Not everywhere, but we have seen it more and more and we are wading deep in the navigation of it all.
We are a body driven by emotions. What we want. What we feel. What we need. What temporal fix will do justice to where our days and lives are lacking. What will make us feel good, feel better, feel seen. Regardless of how it spurs on the flesh, of ourselves or of others. What thing, person or moment will fill the gaps where people or expectations are failing. We pull scriptures out that comfort, we live for God on the days that have the space, we preach and teach what will appeal to the heart without humbling us to the gospel.
The gospel built on costly sacrifice
When I said yes to Jesus it meant grace given.
It also meant a life of my own laid down, every day.
It wasn’t a “now go, my daughter, do as you please!”
It means boundaries and pursuit of holiness. It means hedges of protection around our home and our hearts. It means saying no where the world laughs and pressures. It means digging into all of His truth, not sometimes and some bits. It means praying on my knees and with my eyes up and alert. Not just when I’m hurting. It means loving the broken without condoning the brokenness. It means surrender and self-shedding and self-awareness and humility. It means calling out the junk.
It means holding my forgiveness like the gift that it is and letting that weight change the way I am doing things. For who I am doing things.
It means that Christ is higher than I is higher than I is higher than I, and daily seeking to live in such a way, because that is the only place that lasting peace exists. Peace that comes from turning my self to my Savior and living joyfully bound for home with Him.
It means that our boys will know they are not their own,
that their heartbeats were purposed, created for this time,
but holy moly that they were bought at a price that they get to — or not — say thank you for every day, simply by living as pleasing unto Him.
Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon hath shone forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death hath set us free. In as much as he was held captive of it, he hath annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He angered it when it tasted of his flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was angered, when it encountered thee… It was angered, for it was abolished. It was angered, for it was mocked. It was angered, for it was slain. It was angered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was visible, and fell upon the invisible.