Friday, March 13, 2015

Special Needs and the Beauty of the Cross

So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived. 

Numbers 21:9

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.  

John 3:14

creative commons photo credit

Every where I look, there is evidence of suffering.

I can barely see through tears as I watch parents whisper love songs and cuddle their little girl until she breathes her last and journeys heavenward.  I observe a couple who tirelessly love and serve their child confined in a wheelchair. I feel the hope and pain of parents who continually communicate with their child who can't verbalize back.  I've prayed with my sister after her son had an extreme brain infection which left him devastated- having to learn to walk, eat, talk, and read all over again.  My husband and I watch as countless parents of special needs kids grapple with reality of suffering and loss and  day after day, they persevere.

There are days when I look at the suffering and pain in this world, I can barely breathe. Why oh, God, does it have to be this way?  The brokenness, the isolation, the prison sentence in our earthly bodies.  When will this suffering end?  

  I look up to ask WHY? demand an answer or solution and then I  see Jesus.

I lift my eyes and see Jesus, hanging on the cross. 

          picture credit- Good Pix Galleries

I want to look away. 

It's horrible; torturous even. But I force my heart and soul to look up.  I fix my eyes- I cannot- no- dare not take my eyes from the face of Jesus. He fully suffered and I somehow know, He understands my pain in full.   I survey the mysterious message of the cross.

WHY would God's Son willingly submit to the cross?  

WHY not exempt Himself?

Why did He take on human flesh and experience limitations, suffering, and pain?

Why did He willingly suffer excruciating pain and humiliation?

As I look intently at the cross, I realize my focus is wrong most of the time.  I'm staring at the wrong WHY.    

I'm staring at my "WHY" questions 

instead of His "WHY" answer!

Tears are coming as I recognize-  

His "why" is us. 

His "why" is love.

Love that endures all things.  Power to Overcome.  Life Never Ending.  Wholeness.  Restoration.  Redemption.  Salvation; body, soul, and spirit. 

As I gaze upon the cross, my focus has changed to His great sacrifice.  My suffering unites with His sufferings and I become consumed by His love.  

Our prayer: Father of all mercies and grace, we're amazed by the depths and commitment of your love.  Help us see You are with us in our sufferings and You understand the depths of our pain.  We are humbled by your love. In the Name of Jesus who suffered, died, and rose victorious!  Amen.ather of all mercies and grace, how we bless and thank You for sending Your Son to endure the degrading humiliation, cruel suffering and unjust reproach of those He came to save. 

~ Cindy Barclay

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