God has thick skin.
2/2/2018 11:39:37 AM
Thank goodness! This is a good one.
God has thick skin.
How did I come up with such a notion?
I shall tell you.
Tired as I was the other night, (having gotten home from helping my daughter and new grand-twins at the hospital, and then taking care of the two young ones at home) . . . when the phone rang the other night, my daughter's tense voice set off alarms in my heart. 'Mom, I think I'm getting mastitis...' (a painful infection that strikes new moms) 'What should I do?' I gave her my thoughts and then asked, 'Do you want me to come back to the hospital?' 'Well, yeah'... So I changed out of my pink and white polka dotted pajamas and got on the rainy highway from Wake Forest to Raleigh.
That's what a mother does. When her child needs her-no matter the time,
no matter her own fatigue-she goes.
That's what a father does too, right?
Thinking of my feelings the other night as I rushed to my daughter (with a rather benign issue in the scheme of things, nothing even compared to the fight that one of the twins has had), it caused me to think about my Heavenly Father and his heart toward his son. For instance, was it difficult for him to let Jesus, his beloved son, experience pain as a human being? O, I do believe God feels pain, though he is unchanged by it; he feels in his person what wounds his children. How could that not be so? Some of the worst emotional/physical pain I have known is when one of my four children is in great distress.
God willingly endured the pain of letting Jesus go, watching him, but not sparing him ... for you and me.
God is Love.1
Hmmm... And once again I ask myself about Mary. She was so young, miles away from her mother, in a rough setting, in an unfamiliar town. How did she know what to do with her crying, wrinkled, red-faced baby King? I mean, 'prenatal care in first century Palestine? Not so much. I can only imagine that from the time she knew she was 'expecting' the Messiah, literally carrying the Savior in her womb, her prayer life must have grown by leaps and bounds! Who else but God would understand the cries of her heart? And Joseph? Well, having helped deliver the royal babe, he must have learned to be very attentive to her needs. Was he the first true renaissance man? Meaningful questions to ponder.
Zooming out, picture the goings on around the little family and their trusty donkey. We know the little town was teeming with those who had come to register in Bethlehem ... so much so, that no one likely noticed two weary travelers, one on the back of a donkey, who gave birth to her child at night. Next morning however, the innkeeper surely realized there was something special about the little family.
After all, shepherds had found the stable at night, and gazed with wonder at the one born "Christ the Lord...wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."2
Back to Wake Forest, twin baby boys and my daughter ... leaving the hospital the next day, heading back to the house to be with Bennett (4) and Alyssa (2), so Daddy could go to the hospital, I stopped off to buy a couple Christmas gifts. How mundane, right? Why do we buy and give gifts at Christmas anyway?
Tis an oft-pushed back reason:
We give gifts at Christmas
because God gave us the greatest gift ever ~Jesus.
One of those gifts was the pain God the Father must have felt himself as Jesus lay aside divinity and took on an earthly body. Seems God thickened his own skin in order to look upon Jesus' pain exiting the birth canal, (I wonder how much Jesus weighed?!) awkward young parents attending his precious child, his circumcision on the eighth day, the later temptation in the Judean desert, the agonies Jesus would face in his sacrificial death for us.
Fact is, God gave so much when he gave us Jesus. Our Father gave of himself personally. He gave us the gift of Jesus so that we could be in his presence forever, but that in this life, we can know meaning and purpose.
As I ready myself now to go back to the hospital for the day, I go with a grateful heart that God loved us so much that he gave.
1 - 1 John 4.8b
2 - from Luke 2