Maybe you need to hear this today. Maybe you perceive yourself as a failing parent. Perhaps you believe that you are all alone in your failure, and you can’t see how there could be a “for good” in what you are experience. I found great encouragement in what I read today in Elyse Fitzpatrick’s “Give Them Grace” (I am leading a discussion through this book on FB…let me know if you’d like to join).
Americans generally can’t wrap their minds around a success that seems like a failure. God’s glory and our sins seem mutually exclusive. We treasure strength, not weakness; victory, not defeat; happy endings, not tragedies. But is this the message of the Bible? When we look closely at the Scripture, do we see people who were always faithful, always strong and victorious, people whose lives were shining examples of virtue and faithfulness? Do we see heroes who left exemplary examples for us to follow? Or do we see something else in their lives? And then we come to the paradigm-shattering, unfathomable gospel message. Here we see a little unwed pregnant girl, a midnight flight into Egypt, an itinerate preacher from a nowhere city who attracted a crowd of nobodies for a while and ended up deserted, shamed, and hanging exposed and bloody. In the end he was confounded by his Father’s absence and seemed to die in utter humiliation and defeat. How on earth can a story like that possibly ever bring the Creator of heaven and earth glory? Evil appears to have triumphed. Sin has been victorious. All is lost. God’s glory might have been seen if he had been able to get everyone to hail Christ as the beloved Son worthy of all praise and obedience. But this story? This weakness? How would his glory be seen now? Had sin really triumphed over God’s desire to be glorified? God’s methods turn everything we assume about his glory upside down. (1)
As we begin to think about the Christmas season (not the shopping…people have been focused on that for weeks), pick up the gem of the incarnation and examine it closely. Study each facet. Allow the Light of the world to shine in your heart and home this year.
Fitzpatrick, Elyse M.; Thompson, Jessica; Tchividjian, Tullian (2011-05-06). Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus (p. 147). Crossway. Kindle Edition.