What Doesn't Kill You...

Every summer I am reminded of the five firsts that happened at our house. After second grade each of our children was given the privilege of mowing the lawn. At that point they had the leverage and strength to be able to push the mower and to do it with some ability to make straight lines. The process was always the same: I would show them how to mow the lines, how to turn, and to let go of the handle when they were done. Then I would fire it up and they would take off as I watched from the porch to be sure they were safe. Jeanna and Zach did fine. Little Darby took off like nothing. Ezekiel sneezed through the entire process. But when it was Moira's turn things went a little differently.

Mo was certain this was going to be the WORST thing in her entire life, but it didn't matter it was a right of passage in the Duncan household. It was the continuation of the work ethic started when they were toddlers. And so Moira was put behind the mower and pushed that thing in all of her rage tears streaming down her face crying, "I hate this! Why do I have to do this?!" We pull out the video of it (Yeah, we were those parents) and laugh til the tears stream down our faces, including Mo. It's quite entertaining now.

To see Mo now, and how hard she works and the pride she takes in what she does, it's funny to remember that weak little girl who was sure that pushing that mower was going to be her death. At the time, Amy and I wondered if we were terrible parents. If we should let her wait another year, but we knew she could do it, and a little discomfort wouldn't kill her.

Enter Psalm 22. David is prophesying in this Psalm of another child who would cry out in TRUE agony to His Father who seemingly didn't hear or respond.

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from saving me,

from the words of my groaning?

O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,

and by night, but I find no rest."

-Psalm 22:1-2

Recognize those words from the cross? This is David crying out to God in his suffering and his descendant, Jesus, would use his words as He hung from the cross. David is here suffering and crying out, but God seems not to care or answer.

Ever feel that way? Mo did that summer day walking behind a mower. You may feel that way today. "I am a worm...all who see me mock me...they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion...my strength is dried up...dogs encompass me...they stare and gloat over me." It feels as if the entire world is out to get you and that there are none there to help you. Jesus understands our troubles. He was there on the cross. He had been abandoned by his disciples, the crowds mocked him, and even his own Father forsook him and gave no help or answer. And yet, where did it lead?

Because of Jesus sacrifice "all the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you." (Psalm 22:27) Always remember in those times of trial you are not forgotten or forsaken, and that joy comes in the morning. We don't see God's bigger picture all the time, but there always is a plan. We must be willing to endure to get to the blessing that is sure to come.


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