“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me."
John 17:20-21 (New Living Translation)
My oldest child is away from me for the first time all this week. I am constantly aware of his absence. I have no power to control the actions or words of others that he is with. I have dropped to my knees several times this week for my boy, praying that when I cannot be there to comfort him as he may experience the cruel sting of not having a refuge in me or his daddy, he will know that Jesus is with him. Is he sad? The not knowing is about to drive me crazy. I feel the lioness claws ready to come out to protect him from rejection, mocking, or others' misunderstanding him. Each time I pass his empty room, I go in it to smell him and remember, with incredible gratitude, that I have been chosen to be his mama here on earth.
Before time began, God the Father and Christ the Son knew that Christ would leave heaven. Not for a week like my boy, but for over thirty years. While I do not know what may be happening to my son, God the Father knew what would happen to His precious Son. The prophet Isaiah was inspired by the Holy Spirit to inform the people Christ would be sent to how the King of heaven would be received centuries later:
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:3-5 (NIV)
If I had any clue that where I was sending one of my children would mean that he would be subjected to rejection, sorrow, and suffering, I would do everything in my power to not let him go. I do not have the mind of God. He sent Jesus to die on a cruel cross. And Jesus went willingly. The apostle Paul revealed Christ's attitude in going to earth to us:
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8 (NLT)
The plan was determined between Father and Son long before mankind ever took a breath. Why? Because they could not bear the thought of being separated from their most beloved creation-us. Without their agreement, which included Christ's rejection by this world, His death, and His glorious resurrection, we would be lost in our own sin. We would be without hope.
I cannot shield Chase from hurt. How I wish I could. But if my baby returns with hurts that need to be talked through, I will be able to point him to the One who has experienced the same hurt by others-my Jesus.
Jesus, I know that You have heard all the cries of concern from my mama's heart this week over my boy. Thank you that You are there with him while I cannot be. May he turn to You if he is lonely, feeling rejected, or scared. Thank you that You do understand because of the decision made in eternity past between Your Father and His Son.