Friday, February 18, 2011

Let it be me instead...

  Last night was the sickest I have ever seen my almost 5 year old daughter.  At the time, I just thought she had a really bad case of strep.  She was diagnosed yesterday afternoon, but during the night was just miserable.  She threw up a total of twenty one times.  She developed a rash on her body that itched her like crazy.  In fact she spent over an hour of last night in a baking soda bath, because that was the only way she could keep from scratching.  She scratched so hard she has bleeding sores now.  About 3 a.m. we knew something more was going on; we just didn't know what.  We almost went to the emergency room, but ended up calling the after hours hotline and holding out until this morning.  We didn't sleep at all. 
  Now we know that she had an allergic reaction to amoxicillin which she was given yesterday afternoon for strep.  She is a much different girl tonight, and my husband and I are thanking God for that.
During the wee hours of the night, I found myself praying and thinking, "I just wish it could be me instead."  I'm sure every parent has this thought.  It is torture to watch your child in pain or sick. 
  Thinking about this today, I feel comforted and so loved to know that this is how our Lord feels when He watches us in pain.  I think my God was feeling that watching my daughter suffer last night.  I also think He feels that way whenever He watches us as adults go through hardships in life.  The Bible tells us that God is near to the brokenhearted.  What a blessing it is to know that even though our pain is sometimes caused by choices we make (and sometimes it isn't), God doesn't like for us to experience pain.  And God is so present during those painful times.
  I also went on to think...this is also how God felt when He watched Jesus tortured.  I cannot imagine the pain of the Father watching His Son endure all that Jesus had to endure.   He knew it was for the good of all of us, He knew this was the plan for salvation...but I wonder if He wanted to say, "STOP!  Let me do it instead..."  There is this Nichole Nordeman song that I love that describes what God may have been thinking during Jesus' torture before and during the cross. 
"My Precious Son, I hear them screaming
I'm watching the face of the enemy beaming...
But soon I will clothe You in robes of My own
Jesus, this hurts Me much more than You know.
But this dark hour I must do nothing
Though I've heard Your unbearable cry
The power in Your blood destroys all of the lies
Soon You'll see past their unmerciful eyes
Look there below, see the child
Trembling by her father's side
Now I can tell You why...
She is why You must die"
 The child in that song...that's you.  That's me.  The hurt we feel for our kids...that's the hurt the Father feels for you.  The hurt He felt for His own Son as He watched Jesus endure the cross.   Unlike you and me, He COULD have stopped the whole thing.  Another old song I love reminds us..."He could have called ten thousand angels..."  And He could have.  But He CHOSE to have Jesus endure that pain.  The pain that you and I feel just a shadow of when we watch our own kids go through it.  He chose it for us. 
  If that's isn't love, I don't know what is. 

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