Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Is This All There Is?

The Holy Writings say, “No eye has ever seen or no ear has ever heard or no mind has ever thought of the wonderful things God has made ready for those who love Him.”
~ 1 Corinthians 2:9, NLV~

It's the comment that every parent dreads hearing on Christmas morning: "Is this all there is?" The family is sitting in a sea of torn paper, ribbons and bows, lavished with generous treasures from the heart, and a child expresses disappointment. Heartbroken, this child wants the one thing they did not receive. It makes everyone squirm in discomfort.

How many times does this occur with adults who should know better? Yet, that feeling almost seems justified when it comes to raising a medically fragile child or one facing other special needs. Continually marching back and forth to doctors, labs, therapists, hospitals can easily leave a parent wondering if this is all there is to life. It seems reasonable to want more.

Too many times I have marched my own child into the entrance of our area children's hospital having to look at the ground because of the sheer magnitude of suffering and heartache at this place of healing. I wonder how other parents, so much like me, do this without Jesus. How do they face all of the medical bills, the school stress, the broken dreams for their child? And therein lays the answer to the question.

Jesus is the One and only who assures us that this is not all there is. When people claim that all deities are equal, they fail to realize that none other but Jesus overcame death. Only He loves us without requiring we earn that love in any way. In fact, while we were still behaving as His enemies, He took on human form, being born into this world just to save us. In and of ourselves, we are too sinful and flawed to be worthy to be in the presence of a gloriously holy God in heaven. Without Jesus taking on our punishment and conquering death, our eternal agony would be certain.

Because He took on the roughest of circumstances in His own humanity, He is able to empathize with us, yet is holy enough to rescue us out of these very circumstances. Jesus promised to go prepare a magnificent place for us and He is a man of His word. Scripture tells us that what He has prepared for us is so incredible that we can't even begin to fathom it. I take great comfort in having enough of a peek into the eternal to know that in eternity, "...God’s home is with men. He will live with them. They will be His people. God Himself will be with them. He will be their God. God will take away all their tears. There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All the old things have passed away." (Revelation 21:3-4, NLV)  

Things, people, circumstances in this life will always disappoint. We will always be left wondering, Is this all there is? Yet, if we unwrap Jesus' free gift of salvation, eternal hope comes to stay. Immediately, we can look forward to healing, joy and contentment that delivers us from anyone and anything that falls short in this life. Truthfully, that's the only way to parent a child with special needs — with healthy, eternal perspective that gives strength for today and anticipation of a greater tomorrow.

PRAY:  Lord, thank You for the One gift that will never leave us empty.

~ Barb Dittrich

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