Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion: God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.

                         

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Sunday
Dec132009

Sure Things Only Because

There was a time in my life when everything was building. Gaining, we were—more children, bigger home, further education, better life. There was hope—maybe not for big things—but for good things.

But before we ever got there, the tide turned. The gaining stopped and the losing began: illness and death and children who wander. And with the losses came a good look inside my own heart, because there’s nothing like having beloved people and dreams taken away to show the idolatry in one’s desires.

This is the way our world is—illness, death, sin and dark hearts. The whole thing, you know, is cursed. I’ve always known it, but now I know it: I feel it in my chest every morning. 

It was here, into this world—my world, your world, the world that steals dreams and makes hearts ache, the cursed one—that the Eternal Son was born and grew and lived. When did he come to understand that so many innocent boys his own age had been slaughtered? Slaughtered because of him? How old was he when he lost his earthly father? How did he feel when his own brothers disbelieved him? When his friend betrayed him? When his own people did not receive him? Did all the dark hearts around him make his heart ache?

One thing is sure: He knew the darkness of our world through his own experience in a way I never will. I experience the darkness in my own life, but he experienced it all. He took our sins upon himself. He carried the cursedness of this world. He came here to us, lived here with us, and suffered for us.

And that gives hope—better hope, the kind of hope that’s a sure thing. Certain hope for big things and good things: healing and life and clean hearts. Hope for a new world.

But only because God sent and he came. Only because he came here, where I am, where you are. Only because God gave and he gave up.

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Reader Comments (7)

The sureness of that better hope is the real Christmas (gospel) message, isn't it! I wish the world wanted to hear it.

December 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDorothy

What a reminder that our destination is not terrestrial.

December 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterchris

What a reminder that our destination is not terrestrial.

Ah, but our destination is terrestrial—the new earth.

December 14, 2009 | Registered Commenterrebecca

A wonderful reminder of the hope we have because of Jesus - and what he gave up. Thanks Rebecca.

December 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

"And with the losses came a good look inside my own heart, because there’s nothing like having beloved people and dreams taken away to show the idolatry in one’s desires." A lot of years ago I was surprised to find that to be true. I never thought the resolution of pain and loss is found in repentance, but it is. We have so much, "only because God gave and he gave up."

This is a powerful post, Rebecca. I get it.

December 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrosemary

"there’s nothing like having beloved people and dreams taken away to show the idolatry in one’s desires."

This is such a painful lesson, but it's worth it if Christ becomes more precious than what was taken away. Thank you for posting this.

December 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpilgrim mommy

The "gaining stopped and the losing began". We come closer and closer to death and it is as if we can feel it and smell it already upon us. Except for Christ. And that "except" gives me great joy in spite of the heavy place in which we live.

December 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWhiteStone

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