We’d not intended for this brand of excitement at the end of our spring break vacation. We’d driven to Indianapolis and meandered four stories of awesomeness in the children’s museum. It was a highlight for our 6 and 8-year old. All four of us – Paul, the kids and I – seemed to thoroughly enjoy the day. After closing, we straggled to the car and hauled out drinks and snacks to tide us over until dinner.
Who knew a blue Gatorade would necessitate an EpiPen, 911 call, ambulance, and an ER visit?
Thankfully, we’re versed in food allergy symptoms, I carry Benadryl and an EpiPen in my purse for our son’s allergies, we were near medical attention, and I could still breathe. Swallowing was becoming increasingly difficult, however. The two swigs of kids’ Benadryl couldn’t keep up with the pressure squeezing my throat.
The plan had been to drive by the Indy Speedway, grab dinner, and drive home. Was my checkered flag waving now, I wondered? If it was, I felt unnaturally calm. One thought overshadowed all others: I haven’t finished my job; my husband and kids need me.
I’d think about this a few days later, as obviously I’m still in the race. (Discovered I’m likely allergic to blue food dye.)
I was listening to a lecture about Christ’s passion on the cross. Usually the agony stands out. The high price God paid to rescue me. And it’s overwhelming. I wished I’d remembered Kleenex.
But this year, what stood out most was how Jesus completed the job He was assigned by His heavenly Father – despite being grossly misunderstood, agonizing battles on behalf of those who barely even noticed, and excruciating suffering. Yet it wasn’t primarily about the suffering; it was about what the suffering accomplished. It was about completing the task, out of obedience and love to His father, despite the ultimate cost.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30
If Jesus had not chosen to persevere until the end, to finish what He was assigned, we’d have no cause for remembrance this Good Friday and no reason to celebrate Easter Sunday.
While Christ has already completed all that is necessary for our salvation, what about the jobs assigned to Christ’s followers? What won’t get accomplished if we give up now? Who will not be impacted if we let ourselves grow weary?
By the time the EMTs arrived, and we made the obligatory trip to the hospital to be observed, I felt embarrassed for causing trouble, worried about the emotional state of my family (and getting dinner into them), and concerned about the financial bill I’d just incurred. But mostly I was thankful for more time with my family.
My desire this year, if God should grant me another, is to focus on my job loving my husband and kids well. I’m way too backwards sometimes, confusing my priorities, forgetting what really matters. It’s funny how I can stay calm in the face of something potentially dangerous yet freak out over matters that don’t really matter.
May God help us focus on what truly matters. May His mercy direct us to love Him with all we’ve got and love those He’s placed in our lives with the love He supplies.
This Easter, may you sing along to the tune of God’s unending love for you and His finished work to save you, if you’ve accepted it. May you focus on finishing whatever task He’s assigned you, despite the circumstances – perhaps extremely painful situations – you may be deep into. May God strengthen you to run in the wake of His victory, and cause His love to overflow into your life in a fresh way.