“Take your son, your only son-yes Isaac, whom you love so much… Sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point to you.” Genesis 22:1. This is what God told Abraham to do with his beloved son Isaac. I often ask myself how willing would I be to offer my own child as a sacrifice for God…How crazy in love am I with God? Would I be able to go through with such a burdening, heart breaking task out of obedience to Him?
The thing is that I am crazy in love with my children. I call it demented love, and if you have kids you may identify with me. It’s demented in the sense that it’s irrational at times, and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for them. But shouldn’t this be the pledge I make to God? Is it possible that I love my children more than I love God?
My youngest child was sick with a bone infection when she was sixteen months old. I remember looking at her delicate body, her feminine features, her downy light brown hair with blond fuzz at its ends. Her slender petite arms laid there full of fever, her little finger holding on to mine. The sun rays were seeping trough the hospital window, giving her a luminous glow. She looked like an angel, and she took my breath away… There is nothing worse than seeing your child suffer. I thought, dear God please let her get well, let it all be good, let us just go home to our family nest, tucked away from all this pain. And God did. She got well and fully recovered eventually, and I thanked God for healing her. But what if He didn’t answer my prayer… Would I have loved God any less, or think Him as unjust and unfair? I am ashamed to admit this, but at times I feel that I could love God with a demented kind of surrender as long as He doesn’t take my kids away from me, or my husband, or me away from them. I just don’t want us to be separated too soon, and I live in fear of that at times.
God chose to take all of Job’s children away, along with his possessions, and Job’s faith stood strong: “The Lord gave me everything I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord” Job1:21
I realize though all my troubles and grief, that my desire to please and obey God should be higher than that of pleasing myself. Occasionally I selfishly pray to Him ” can my will be your will?”. That’s because I am afraid that I won’t like His will for my life so I act like a spoiled child. Jeremiah says in chapter 10:23 ” I know, Lord, that a person’s life is not his own. No one is able to plan his own course.”
It may take us a long time to see God’s hand in a painful, unwanted situation, and even longer to understand the purpose of that pain in our lives, but ultimately it comes down to what posture we adopt towards God. Personally, do I choose to fully surrender my life with all that’s in it at God’s feet, to be used by Him for His glory, or do I choose to give God conditional abandon of my life and soul. If God is testing me I want to pass. 1 Peter says: ” These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure… so if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring much praise and glory and honor on the day, when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. And this is quintessentially the essence of our existence. The intrinsic purpose and preoccupation of my life is to love God with that kind of crazy, irrational, demented love. Strangely enough, that kind of love will in turn remove the fear of loosing my loved ones. It will free me , and induce a collapse of the resistance and the reservation of fully submitting my life to God.
It’s hard to love my children with palms open in complete offering to God, but He gave me all that I have and it all belongs to Him. This is still challenging for me to live out but I take comfort in the words Jesus spoke in John 14:27. This verse serves as my inner rudder , helping me stay on God’s path: ” I am leaving you with a gift- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
Word of the Day: CAPITULATE
By Roxana Phillip-Hackett
Roxana is a wife of one, mother of two, who loves to share her faith with sincerity and honesty from her home in Hendersonville Tennessee.