These last couple weeks have been far different than we anticipated them to be. While we anticipated a recovery time for Lottie after her surgery, it has been weeks longer than we expected. We are still watching her recover with great effort and observing her strive to maximize her recovery time to gain strength and independence in every way she can. The reality of dependence on us for her movements and her general needs is difficult to accept and often times hard to understand. However, God is graciously showing small steps of improvement as we see more signs of our lionhearted Lottie rising to the challenge.
This past Sunday evening during worship we observed the Lord’s Supper. I have always considered this event a celebration, a worship opportunity for believers to rejoice in the saving death of Jesus. During these observances I have often pondered the realities of the brutal beatings of His body, the crown of thorns on His head, and His brutal murder on the cross. As Scripture instructs, I have regularly reflected upon my life and confessed my own sin prior to partaking of the bread and the cup.
While all of these elements still took place for me this past Sunday, there was also another element that happened inside. This time I was hurting. I was not physically hurting; I am not being persecuted, beaten, imprisoned, ridiculed, or even offended. I was not spiritually hurting; I am not far from God, nor have I strayed from His mighty hands of grace. However, I was emotionally hurting; I am sad that my daughter is sad, and confused, I am sad that my family is having to walk through this time, I am sad that it is Lottie going through this pain instead of me.
This hurt brought a wonderful realization to me that I would never have been able to experience apart from walking through hardship at the very time of our observance of the Lord’s Supper. This time, as I held the bread in my hand, I thought about the sacrifice that the Father gave in watching His son be beaten, bruised, spat upon, and ridiculed. This time, as I held the cup in my hand, I thought about God the Father watching His son be nailed to a cross and shed His blood when He did not deserve such pain. I thought about the Father and what it must have taken for Him to send His Son for our sin, our punishment, our penalty. And I ached. I ached because it is immensely difficult to watch your child suffer needlessly, but watching Lottie be sad and confused is nothing in comparison to what God the Father must have felt as He chose to pour out His wrath on His righteous son as the atonement for our sin.
The Lord’s Supper is beneficial to all believers as a reminder of the death, resurrection, and return of Christ. However, for those who are hurting, it is a beautiful reminder of our opportunity to share in the sufferings of Christ (Romans 8) for the glory of Christ and for the good of His people. I am more confident in God’s glory being made known through this trial than I ever have been and am leaning more heavily on his perfect plan for our future.