[In reading back through my journals, I came across this entry from two Christmases ago. It's as poignant a thought now as it was then…]
Oh for more time… There have been countless things from recent days that I’ve been wanting to record in my journal yet alas, time is slipping through my fingers like water and so many things will probably remain unsaid. But I must tell of His faithfulness. He is always faithful… Faithful to sustain, faithful to give, faithful to comfort, faithful to love, faithful to bless, faithful to me.
Throughout the past few weeks I’ve seen His faithfulness time after time despite my errors and mistakes. And I’ve been thinking back to His faithfulness over 2,000 years ago… when He faithfully sent His Son, His only Son, to redeem this wretched, lost world.
I cannot even imagine the heart-wrenching tears shed that day, so long ago, when the Father gave up His Son. The pain, the agony of separation, the immeasurable sacrifice and most of all, the knowledge that victory is not necessarily certain. Eternity’s future rests upon the success of the mission. The wicked foe will try his hardest.
All Heaven feels the solemnity of the moment. The final embrace, the final words, the final smile among tears as Son assures Father, “It is for love, Abba, for love… They are Ours. I must redeem them. There is no other way to pay the ransom. There is no other way to annihilate sin forever. There is no other way to demonstrate Your true character to the world. There is no other way for them to understand divinity except if displayed in humanity.”
There is a pause. The unspoken pain of separation is felt. Father and Son have never been apart before. And through the eyes of Heaven, the reason for estrangement seems hardly worthy. Angels look on in wonder at how heavenly beings can treasure marred, sinful creations. Yet love is stronger.
The Son speaks a last time with tears in His eyes. “Oh how much I love You, My Father! Oh how much I love You! ” And then He is gone. The throne sits empty. All heaven is silenced. The attention of the universe turns upon planet Earth, upon the young virgin, with growing stomach.
After what seems like an eternity the momentous night arrives. The young couple arrange to sleep in a dirty stable. Sobs of angels ring throughout the heavenly courts, yet they know this must be. All Heaven holds its breath. Suddenly a penetrating cry breaks the atmospheric silence. Jesus is born. Heavenly beings look on in astonishment, hardly comprehending that the tiny bundle could be the King of the universe, the One who just days before was commanding the heavens. Yet indeed it is He, born a helpless, tiny babe, born to save.
For thirty-three years heaven continues in tense observation. The throne remains empty. Joyous songs remain dimmed. Once again we find a silent Heaven anxiously observing another night in history. Yet this time, it is not a baby’s cry they hear but a cry of heartbreaking anguish and soul-wrenching pain. They see Him, apparently forsaken by even His Father, still acknowledge His love and forgiveness to the undeserving. Sobs again fill the atmosphere of heaven. Finally a cry rings throughout the universe. “It is finished.” All Heaven stirs. Victory is assured. The King has conquered!
Eager anticipation mounts as angels are selected to make the triumphant flight to earth. Heaven sits on the edge of its seat, waiting… Finally the command is given. Trumpets sound and the quickest flight to earth is made. The leading angel throws the stone aside. Moments seems to drag by. Suddenly there is movement within the dark and dusty grave. Christ steps forth victorious!
After remaining on earth just long enough to comfort the heart of a weeping woman, Christ ascends to His Father. He has waited thirty-three years for this. Tears mingle with smiles as Father once again embraces Son. Heaven is reunited. Finally the Father speaks. “Welcome home, My Beloved and Only Son… You have vanquished the foe. You have conquered sin forever.” Angel voices chorus, “Hallelujah!”
And yet, though sin was defeated over 2,000 years ago, our world still exists in its deplorable state. The reason? We have not returned faithfulness for faithfulness. Human hearts have waxed cold. Christians are content to live a lukewarm existence. I see careless indifference on every side. My soul burns with agony.
But like the faithful few of long ago, there are a handful today who recognize the faithfulness of the Father. Although the depth of sacrifice is beyond human compensation, they loyally give what they can in return—their faithfulness.
Will I be found faithful to Him who has given all for me?