During the past few years I’ve met several mothers who have had to say good-bye to their children this side of heaven. All of them have a deep and abiding love for Jesus, and their faith is like none other I have ever seen. None of them take the power of His resurrection and the promise of eternity with Him for granted. Many are Bible teachers, writers, and some are worship leaders, even in the midst of unspeakable sorrow.
This Easter weekend, I want to honor these moms: Shirley, Katie, Santha, three Gails, Lindsay, Elizabeth, Derika, Kathe, and Kim. Your faith has forever impacted my own faith walk and I hope it’s okay that I see you all as heroes of the faith, much like those in Hebrews 11:1–2: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”
I met one of these moms just a few years ago at a writers’ conference. Her name is Kim Erickson and her son Austin would have turned twelve years old today. The ninth anniversary of his death, due to complications from strep throat, is on April 25. Kim shares more of her story and her passion for Jesus and His Word on her website at LoveMyWord.com.
I asked Kim to write a message for us for this Easter weekend . . .
Bow Down, Beloved
How do we respond when terrible turns in our direction? Our greatest chance to lead people to Christ hinges on our answer to this question. Pointing to God when things are good is easily written off by others as good luck, talent, or hard work.
Pointing to God when our lives fall apart is where searching eyes can see how God works in our lives. When the “train wreck” happens, our relationship with God becomes like the response team—sirens unmistakable, rushing to help, healing acts. Jesus can become visible in our response to difficult situations.
My “train wreck” is losing our three-year-old son to strep throat. The tragedy of losing a child is deep, dark, and never-ending. How I get through it is to remember my position before God—beloved, but bowed before His Majesty.
My position is child of God, daughter of the King; beloved, yet in submission to the One True God who created me, heaven and earth. I belong to Him. Everything belongs to God.
Yet, sometimes I act like it’s the other way around. I want to demand, control, and have things go my way. I want good things to happen. But, that is not my place. My place is to honor God and bring Him glory. I exist to worship Him. My role is to kneel before Him, bowed down in humble awe and wonder.
On the days when accepting my pain is difficult, I open my Bible to study Jesus.
Jesus knew everyone in Jerusalem was watching and that He was about to be arrested, beaten, spit upon, rejected, and tortured until death on the cross:
“And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw away, and He knelt down and began to pray. ‘Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.’” ~ Luke 22:41–42
Jesus did not like or want His circumstances (remove this cup from Me), but He bowed down before the Father (if You are willing; not My will, but Yours). Jesus continued to pray, in agony over what was to happen to Him. But, when the mob arrived to arrest Him and one of His disciples tried to defend Jesus with a sword, Jesus held him back, saying:
“Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” ~ John 18:11
Complete submission to the will of the Father. Total surrender to the horrors God had planned for Him. And for what? Or, rather, for whom? For me. For you.
Under the weight and glory of that understanding, there is nothing left for me to do but bow down before God and ask Jesus to give me strength to say “Not my will, but Yours be done.”
Have you surrendered everything to God? Will you honor the sacrifice of Jesus by saying “Yes” to His forgiveness? You are God’s beloved.
Beloved, will you bow down with me? Will you place your pain at His feet and let God heal you by the power of Jesus?
This song has especially meant a lot to Kim: “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott
And check out Kim’s beautiful Bible Study: His Last Words: What Jesus Taught and Prayed in His Final Hours, a seven-week Bible study in John 13-17.