Jesus said, "if you are to follow me, you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me." sometimes, we take these words to mean less than i believe Jesus intended. Denial of self, is what Jesus exhibited in a perfect and complete way on the cross. Our daily "laying down" and surrender moments look nothing like this. But once in awhile, Jesus asks us to walk into suffering, to absorb suffering or to endure suffering. We resist. We avoid. We run away looking for an easier path, or a distraction or a happier place. This week, Dave and some of my kids walked into the delivery room--a place that they were expecting to witness life-the miraculous, the holy of a birth...but instead they entered into a sacred place of suffering and loss. The baby was born with a heart that had been affected by the broken things in this world...he couldn't live. The mama grieved hard. She wouldn't look up. She couldn't embrace her baby as he struggled to breathe. Dave sat with her. In these very raw, grieving moments, that no one can ever imagine....walking through the valley of the shadow of death...he walked the baby through and into the arms of Jesus. We all grieved hard that day. At the loss. At the very real place between heaven and earth. At the sadness that sin and death brings right into our daily places. At the fact that sometimes we really have no control. At the sight of a little one who didn't get the chance to live and grow and laugh...at all the things that death steals. But there is a holy place that brings hope in the midst of our grief. The place where Jesus conquered the eternality of death. The place where we know that eternity is real and restorative. The place where Jesus meets us with NEW LIFE. It is the only way we can walk this life and this surrender with HOPE. Dave held this precious baby tight and we sensed he handed him healed and holy... Into the arms of Jesus.
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