Bargains

A hole appeared in Jackson’s brand new polo after the first wearing.

In a climate full of sales, bargains, deals, BOGO, coupons, generics and gimmicks, there comes a limit to a dollar saved being a dollar earned.

Case in point: generic Rice Krispies cereal really does taste like cardboard pieces. And the seam of a bonus-priced, back-to-school polo can rip right open in the first wearing, as we discovered with Jackson’s new shirt that he was so excited to wear to kindergarten.

In many cases, you get what you pay for.

Often we get sucked into glitzy promotions, promises and sales competition in the world of religious activity, too. We go into churches, conferences and service projects really looking for what we can get out of it, what offers us the most kickback at the greatest convenience. We window shop for the best programs at the cheapest level of personal investment and sacrifice. And then, at the first rip in the seam, we discard the effort and look for new. We reap what we sow.

Even those in healthy churches, who consistently and faithfully serve God in ministry, can shortchange our relationship with Jesus. We expect all the rewards of a life of faith without investing real time and effort in daily, personal Bible study and prayer. We want to see people’s lives be transformed by God’s love, but prefer someone else to actually do the Great Commission (see this distressing recent survey).

We are not savoring the greatest bargain of all time: Jesus’ life exchanged for our own. Jesus paid for all my sins, each mistake and every wrong turn. Too often, I miss reveling in the greatest deal I was ever offered – His beautiful, white garments of purity in exchange for my filthy, torn rags.

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

– 2 Corinthians 5:21

In this case, I got what He paid for.

That’s a deal worth telling everyone about!

Sick

No one enjoys being sick, but I believe most moms would gladly take the place of their suffering child.

It is awful when your kids are sick. You often feel helpless as you watch the bug work through their system. And you are willing to go to whatever lengths to help them feel better. That means scrapping your plans, driving for medicine or doctors appointments, cuddling all day on the couch and exposing yourself to the sickness in order for your child to tangibly feel your love through hugs and kisses.

These last 24 hours we have been caring our son through symptoms of the stomach flu. It pricks this momma to the core to watch her son lay on the couch all day with flushed cheeks, wrapped up tightly with a blanket even though its warm in the house.

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Jackson has been resting on the couch most of the day.

As I sit here and pray for Jackson, I know my Father God understands exactly how I feel as a mother who wants her son to be well. After all, He literally did exchange places with us while we were desperately sick.

God’s heart broke as we entangled ourselves in and embraced the deadly disease of sin. God’s love remained constant and deep despite our unfaithfulness and failure. And, as our Father, He was willing to do whatever it took to save us from ourselves and the sin-sickness that overtook us. So, He exposed Himself to our illness in order to make His love personally known. He took on our sin and exchanged His purity for our filth as He hung on the cross. His love was our cure.

That’s why I choose to trust my God, even when my children are sick. He loves them even more than I do, and He can do what I can not.

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

– 2 Corinthians 5:21