I sat there, looking out at the beautiful scenery, listening to the waves crash against the shore. Smile on my face as we talked about college, I was filled with grief in my heart. What if...what if we give our children a good life by man's standards, but miss the most important thing? What if all we give them is a life that leads to death? For surely, I know, this life leads to death. No matter how healthy I eat and live, no matter what my career or income, one day, God is going to call me to His throne. That day is the only one worth living for...that day I am going to answer for what I did with the riches He offered me in Christ. Did I accept or reject His greatest gift? What did I do with Christ?
What if the choice is not a SeaDoo or a JetSki, a beach house or a camper, college or the Navy, live with the man or marry him? What if the real choice is life and death, deny Christ or give myself to Him completely? What if the only thing that counts is whether or not I have given my children the best thing which isn't a thing at all? What if all that really matters is Christ?
I sat there, trying to stay engaged in a conversation, but thinking these things. Looking around me, at a beautiful house on the lake, filled with beautiful things, but missing the one thing that truly mattered...and I was broken-hearted. "This could be me, but for the grace of God," drifted through my mind. "I could have a life full of things, a second house at the lake, a jet ski, the latest model car. But would I trade Christ for it all?" I felt myself shake my head slightly, deep in my own thoughts, as a question called me back into the conversation.
Grief overwhelmed me. How do I keep smiling, talking, engaging in meaningless chatter, when I know they do not have Christ? How do I explain that yes, my niece should live in the dorms for the whole college experience...but that is really only because I know that it was in the dorms of State University, that I myself found the greatest treasure when someone introduced me to Christ? How do I offer them what I have been freely given? How do I explain to them that in all of their loveliness and all of their things, they have missed the greatest gift? How do I make them understand, His love is worth giving up myself for?
On the way home, my thirteen year old was bubbling over with excitement about all that he had experienced. Seeing his cousins from Florida, tubing, speeding on the jet ski, swimming and fishing in the lake, riding in the paddle boat...can we do it again experiences. And his chatter went on, until he asked me, "Mom, did you have a good day?"
How do I explain to this boy-man all that I experienced today? The joy of the wind coming off of the water, a caress from my Creator...the soothing sound of waves crashing on the shore, a song of praise to Him from His creation....the gratitude in my heart to the One who generously gave me Christ. But, none of this came out. What poured out at his question was the raw emotion of watching a family who denied Christ...who chose to give their children and grandchildren a good life now, but who did not know how to give them the one thing that truly mattered: Christ. I am rich in Christ, though I am poor. I am strong in Christ, though I am weak. I will never have a cottage on a lake. My children will never have a jet ski or a vacation to Hawaii, but by God's grace alone and through His mercy alone, they have a mama and daddy who show them heaven's treasures everyday, teaching them the Truth of the Word of God. Oh, yes, in Christ and the Truth of His Word, we are strong. In Christ, we are rich. Our riches will not pass away with this earth, but will be revealed to us that day we meet Him face to face. How do I talk through my throat, tight with tears? How do I explain all that I experienced today? The words tumbled out choked with tears and my son quietly responded, "I thought that, too, Mom."
Thank You Jesus, that all is not as it seems. May they know You. May I be the light that shows them Your love. Help me Father.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1