Friday, January 11, 2013

I'm a Little Jealous

Though we had a good time with family over Thanksgiving it did not end how we expected it to. Just as we were entering the Missouri state capitol, Audrey received a text from a friend telling her that her dad and sister were in a tractor accident. Her sister was hurt badly and her dad was gone. I spent a couple minutes making a phone call to clarify what had happened.

The Shepley's are our good friends. Noel and Renae have been married as long as Bill and I. Noel was the same age as Bill. Our three kids line up with three of their four girls. They were constant sources of prayer and encouragement during our time with Victoria. We are friends.

The news brought us to a halt. Our hearts, heavy.

The next day at church we worked our way through Romans 5:12-21, where though sin came through one man, and all, for all time after, are affected resulting in eternal death, through one man, Jesus Christ, the life giving gift of having our death penalty paid is ours, all of us, to have if we receive Him resulting in eternal life.

Do you want to know exactly what the Gospel is? It is that! 

I listened as Pastor Jarrod said what we were thinking. It's not fair that Adam screwed up and sinned and that the rest of us have to live with his mistake. And if you think about it, is it really fair that Jesus would have to pay for that mistake for all of us? The answer to the first is no, its not fair. But the answer to the second is also no, not fair. And that is the crux- where grace intercedes. Jesus died not only because it was the only way, but also because He wanted to. He loves us that much. From the very moment God banished man from his direct presence, because sin separates us, He created a way for us to get back to him. He wants us that much!

That's love.
That's grace.
That's mercy.

I listened and thought of Noel. I stood along with my family, our hearts weighted with sorrow and thought this is what Noel is fully understanding right now. He is full and complete and not lacking anything. He is enjoying God's presence directly. Not enjoying as in "Golly, it sure is good to see you." but more along the lines of humbleness and happiness inexplicable. If Noel's life was so changed here on earth, once he understood his own depravity and God's great goodness towards him and accepted that, how much more is he made whole now? 

I know Pastor Jarrod said it's not allowed in his house to say "It's not fair" so let me say it this way. Noel, I'm a little bit jealous of you. The song says "I can only imagine" but the truth is, I can't imagine. I cannot imagine what it is like to not shed one more tear of sorrow or feel pain. I cannot imagine what is it like to be with Jesus, who wants me, is the lover of my soul and that I will want Him back and will never not want Him or push Him aside in pursuit of my own selfish desires. I cannot imagine what it feels like to be made whole. Here on earth, with his divine power we have everything we need for life and godliness, but we strain and press on. In heaven, we will be made full. It will not be for our own comfort or glory but for His, all the time. I want that. I want what you have right now, Noel. 

It was a little hard to sing the song that followed the message. Sometimes the tears choke back the voice but the heart is where the praise and worship happens.

  "Happy Day"

The greatest day in history, death is beaten
You have rescued me
Sing it out, Jesus is alive
The empty cross, the empty grave
Life eternal, You have won the day
Shout it all, Jesus is alive
He's alive

Oh happy day, happy day
You washed my sin away
Oh happy day, happy day
I'll never be the same
Forever I am changed

When I stand, in that place
Free at last, meeting face to face
I am Yours, Jesus You are mine
Endless joy and perfect peace
Earthly pain finally will cease
Celebrate Jesus is alive
He's alive

Oh what a glorious day
What a glorious way
That You have saved me
Oh what a glorious day
What a glorious name

This is the link that will take you to Nov 25th message at Cornerstone church
Lyrics to "Happy Day" by Jesus Culture found here
Scriptures used from Romans, Genesis, 2 Peter, James and more


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