Wow, is all I can say. I was brought to tears this morning while reading this wonderful post by Kimberley over a A Celebration of Grace. This so spoke to me at the right moment in my life as I am about to begin a “new” journey…per se. May this be a reminder to all of us that….Yes, being a Christian IS so worth it!
Is Being a Christian Worth it?
It was the beginning of my junior high softball season. My dad, who never missed any of my games, had driven me to the baseball field an hour early so I could practice with my team before the game started and so he could go for a jog around the neighborhood.
The game was about to begin and I noticed that my dad was not sitting on the bleachers. He was still out running. I started getting anxious. I wanted him there. They called our team out to the field and I was assigned the right field for that inning. I wasn’t the best player on the team, and looking back I am sure they stuck me in right field for that very reason.
But I wanted my dad to see me play. I craved his approval. I gulped as the first batter came up to the plate, realizing she was a lefty. My coach yelled at me to get ready. And sure enough, at the crack of the bat, the ball came flying in my direction, high up in the air.
I started clumsily running backwards, squinting in the sun to see the ball as I held up my glove. There it was! I watched it pop right into my glove, and then to my horror, pop right back out and into the air again. As I fell to the ground reaching towards it, I grasped it tightly this time, and surprisingly and barely got the out!
As I crawled back up to my feet and brushed off my pants, listening to the cheers of my teammates, I looked and saw my dad. He was running down the street right next to right field…raising his arms and cheering me on. He made it on time. He was there. That’s all that really mattered to me.
I heard a pastor say once that God is not just there for us in our suffering, but he is also there for us, rejoicing with us in our successes, too.
My dad was there for me not only in my successes, but as the years went on, he was there for the hard things. He worked three jobs when I was a child to support me and my mom and my three siblings. He disciplined me and protected me, and helped me take care of my baby as a single mother. He has come after me and saved me out of dark places.
He walked me down the isle and gave me to my husband. He came to the hospital to comfort me, and sit with me, when I lost my baby. And even now, as a forty year old stay at home mother of five children, he will still slip me a twenty (sometimes more), telling me to go out and get something nice just for myself.
And sometimes he calls me up just to read me bible verses, or to sing me songs that he hears on the radio that we used to dance together to when I was a little girl.
And this is all just my experience. If you talked to my siblings, they would tell you lots of stories too…most recently, how he has come along side them in their cancer battles, taking care of themand their children while they suffered the effects of chemo. I don’t know to many Grandpa’s who at age 72 are changing diapers, bottle feeding babes, and going for walks with a stroller in tow. But that is my dad.
He loves his kids with an everlasting, sacrificial, powerful love of a Father.
So how could I not love this man who has loved me so well all of these years? How could I be flippant and complacent in my heart towards him? How could I not want to show him how much I love him in return, for all he has done for me?
And how can I not look at that example and see the similarities of my heavenly Father’s love for me? How can I not love this God who is all of these things that my earthly Father was for me…and so much more?
How can I not love my God who laid down his very life so I could live?
He is my comfort. He is my security. He is my identity. He is my hope.
He is my power. He is the One carrying me.
He is what causes my heart to reach out when I just want to hide.
He is the reason the hard things are worth it…the reason my exhaustion and weariness are all worth it.
He is the One who is my rest and relief…waiting for me and pursuing me…every time I fail.
This is why I love him. This is why I love his people. This is why I love the gospel.
This is why I don’t want to grieve him in my sin. This is why I strive to obey.
This is why when I fail in that striving, that I can get back up and keep pressing on.
This is why the cross is so precious to me.
Because Jesus is my prize. And because he alone is my righteousness.
This is what makes the christian life worth it.
Knowing the King of all creation, the Holy One, in all of his majesty and power, in all of his goodness…who is MY Father…and who has chosen ME as his child…
who has patiently and mercifully loved me in my weakness…and who sacrificed his Son for me…
and who tells me it delights him to call me his own…
makes everything I am going through, worth it.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.