I’m glad to introduce you to another dad from Bethlehem today, Chris Nelson. If you are fortunate to have a copy of Just the Way I Am, you can see Chris with his oldest boy on page 45.
I could say a lot about this man who I deeply respect, but I’ll just share this one fact about his family. He and Katie adopted Andrew and then learned about his significant disabilities. That was a hard blow. A few years later, with the full knowledge about what could happen, they adopted AGAIN, trusting God to provide all they would need. Today they also have a third son God gave them through their own pregnancy.
In other words, God has called him and sustains him through hard things. Thank you, Chris, for writing today.
The Pursuit of Happiness
The depth of human depravity is readily apparent when we are “me” centered rather than God-centered. When the pursuit of personal happiness trumps the pursuit of holiness. When we are so busy pursuing our sin-saturated mud puddles that we neglect to even consider what it might mean to embrace God’s offer of an eternal holiday at the sea.
On June 8 it was reported in a story on startribune.com that a Colorado woman was accused of killing her 6 month old baby. Her motive? “She believed the boy was autistic and thought his condition would ruin her life.”
She killed her own baby, knitted together in her womb by her Sovereign and Loving Creator, because she thought he might cramp her style. She reportedly considered taking her own life instead, but didn’t want to unduly burden her husband with the child. That’s chilling. That’s real. That’s the overflow of the human heart un-broken and un-repentant over sin, and un-surrendered to the restraining and sustaining and transforming mercy and grace of God as revealed in Christ Jesus.
As I reflected on this story, and my own struggle to mortify my sin as it is daily revealed to me through the gift of a mentally disabled son, Pastor John’s word from his sermon Sustained by Sovereign Grace-Forever, came to mind:
Not grace to bar what is not bliss,
Nor flight from all distress, but this:
The grace that orders our trouble and pain,
And then, in the darkness, is there to sustain.
True and abiding joy isn’t in being burden-less. It is in being upheld and transformed through the burden by the grace of God. It is, when facing often weighty temptations to wallow in despair and anger and self pity, to repent afresh of our sin and gaze up from the foot of the cross to marvel at the one who paid our debt, and to freshly turn our focus to the risen Lord and His purposes, rather than our pathetic pursuits of momentary and fleeting escape from hard things.