In our greatest troubles, it often seems as if God has turned His face away. As if He doesn’t see, as if He doesn’t care to see.
And so we cry out as David did, “Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love” (Ps. 6:4). And we ask for the faith that concludes before it sees: “The Lord has heard my pleas; the LORD accepts my prayer. All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment” (Ps. 6:9-10).
Turn, O Lord and deliver us. And cause our enemies to turn back.
But no answer do we hear. No turning do we see. Or so it seems.
Until we return to the cross.
At the cross, our Heavenly Father turned away from His beloved Son. He did not hear His Son’s pleas. He did not turn back His Son’s enemies. He crushed His Son to fulfill the promise He gave to us through the prophets: “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me” (Jer. 32:40).
God has not turned away from us in our trouble. He will not turn away. We deserve to have Him turn away from us forever, but He turned away from His Son instead—so that He might not turn away from doing good to us.
And what is that good? It is the fear of God. It is the grace that keeps us from turning away from Him.
This turning, our turning away from God is the greatest tragedy, our greatest trial. And in all our trials, it is this turning that God is working to prevent. He is turning back our greatest enemy of all: sin. He is making sure we do not turn from Him, that we might always bask in the light of His face.
Truly, the Lord has heard my pleas.
10:11 a.m. At least he changed them!
“That’s how God works. He gets at our most fundamental idolatry and He ruthlessly crushes it in His unfathomable love and fatherly kindness and inscrutable wisdom and He goes after our greatest treasures and He leaves us with nothing but himself so that we go limping on our way for the rest of our lives having learned: ‘My grace is sufficient for you for my power is perfected in weakness.’ Don’t underestimate God. Don’t underestimate His ruthless compassionate gracious commitment to His glory or His commitment to your everlasting joy and good. He will pursue you graciously and ruthlessly and rip out the idols of your soul that would otherwise consume you. He is working for your joy and your good even when you cannot perceive it and have ceased to be able to feel anything anymore.” ~Ligon Duncan, The Underestimated God, T4G 2012
3:49 p.m. Mommy, come play with us!
It’s that time of year again for the Pick One Spot Contest. Actually, we keep changing the time of year we do this contest, but this year it is that time of year.
Same prize: $100 to your favorite home store (Target, Home Goods, World Market, Pottery Barn etc.)
1. PICK ONE SPOT in your house that is in dire need of some TLC
2. Take a “before” picture
3. Proceed to give said spot some TLC
4. Take an “after” picture, and
5. Send your pics to us for a chance to win some prizes.
Same time to complete: 2 weeks, so you must submit your entry by Friday April 27
Same judges: yours truly, and you can check out past winners to get an idea of what it might take to win (2011, 2010, 2007)
Looking forward to some great entries again this year!
5:28 p.m. Ever feel like you’re losing your mind? Yup.
Like many of you, the four of us are at home and feeling very together with the children during this T4G week. Between the eleven kids we’ve had eye infections and bathroom accidents and nap boycotts and broken birthday presents and for some reason the days just seem longer when Daddy doesn’t come home for dinner. But even though we can’t be there we are thrilled that our husbands are receiving amazing teaching and encouragement. And I’m excited we can listen to the audio here. First up on my ipod: Dad and Kevin DeYoung.
This morning my husband sent me a message from the conference that he knew I would be excited to hear: Apparently Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ grandson took the platform to announce that they are now making all of Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ sermons available online for free. Spiritual Depression, Studies on the Sermon on the Mount, and Faith on Trial—all MLJ sermon transcripts turned books—have been some of the most influential teachings of my Christian life. You can bet I’m going to get started right away on listening to all 1600 of these free sermons. That’s a lot of scrubbed toilets and emptied dishwashers.
And a few great articles for moms popped up this week by Rachel Jankovic and Gloria Furman , so be encouraged all of you who are laboring with little ones for the gospel.
3:14 p.m. Afternoon Tea
I too have been thinking a lot about Grandma lately, whenever I make egg salad sandwiches. They are Jude’s favorite. He asks me every day around 11:35 a.m.—“Egg, Mom?” It is very hard to resist those beautiful brown eyes too many days in a row, so we’ve been eating a lot of egg salad.
I didn’t know how to make egg salad until a few weeks ago. I never cared for it as a kid, so I wasn’t inspired to include it in Jack and Tori’s regular lunch menu. But in an effort to find something Jude and Sophie like besides plain peanut butter sandwiches, I’ve been trying all kinds of things. (By the way, tuna fish was a winner yesterday—further evidence that a spoonful of ritz cracker helps the medicine go down. Maybe if my mom had made me meatloaf sandwiches on ritz crackers instead of whole wheat bread I would have liked those too.)
So I asked Mom how to make egg salad. “Mayonnaise to hold it together,” she told me, “and as my mom always used to say, ‘a little mustard for color.’” I can hear Grandma now, instructing my mom on how to make egg salad, telling her the same thing she had told her a hundred times before, as if it was the first time. A little mustard for color.
My grandma never met Jude and Sophie. She passed away only weeks before they came home. But before she died, my aunt added their picture to the collection of grandkids and great-grandkids by Grandma’s bed and she repeatedly said how happy she was that we were adopting them.
Jude won’t meet Grandma until heaven, but her life has shaped his. Because in God’s providence, the only reason I’m in the kitchen making egg salad sandwiches instead of chasing my own elusive glory is because I had a mother who taught me the value, dignity, and glory of motherhood. And she first learned it from Grandma.
A little mustard for color. It may seem an inconsequential lesson. After all, we only have to click on Pinterest these days to find out how to make gourmet egg salad cut in special shapes for kids. But this little tip holds a wealth of meaning for me—meaning about faithfulness in motherhood and the enduring effect of a mother’s teaching. Thanks, Grandma. Oh, and Jude thanks you too.
9:46 a.m. Why my kids like the UPS man.