I have found myself, for lack of better options, with Dr. Phil on the TV in the afternoon. He fascinates me because there is nothing particular special about what he says; he states the obvious. What I like about him, though, are two things. First of all, he appears to deeply care about the children. He all but tells the parents that he is not there for him, but he cares about the kids. I like that. The other thing he does that I like, is that he rarely seems to try to make people feel stupid. When he gets them to admit what they are doing that doesn’t make sense, rather than calling them out, he says, “So, how’s that working for you.” Of course, it isn’t and they know it, but he lets them say it.
Yesterday, he had on three families with obese children. I mean we are talking 117 pounds at 5 years; 80 at 3 years and; 185 at 10 years of age. As he talked to the parents, his whole point was they needed to be the parent and get rid of stuff from the home so that it was not an issue. They had to be willing to take on the tantrums for the sake of their children. He didn’t care about them – they were the parents – and had to suffer the pain to save their child.
Which brings me to God. Today is Good Friday; the day that Jesus was crucified. God suffered the pain of watching His Son die and I can tell you from my experience, there is no greater pain. He did it to save you and me. He was willing to suffer (as was Jesus, Himself) for our sake. I don’t understand it, but I am so thankful for it.
I hear people say that they could live the Christian life if God would just do such-n-such. I don’t get it. Surely, I go to Him in prayer and tell him my desires, but I am not going to withhold myself from Him, waiting for Him to prove his love. He already gave me Jesus; how much more do I need?
But we have needs and God knows it. I have come to see if Dr. Phil can care about these children who are not related to him, who are total strangers, why would I doubt that God cares about me. I am his child. He cares about me more than any parent on this planet; He cares about me more than Dr. Phil. Imagine that.
The “problem” comes when I have to reconcile some hard truths. “Jesus loves me, this I know.” Jesus is the greatest evidence I could ask for of God the Father’s love for me. I don’t yet know quite how to put the loss of Christopher into the contest of all that love. I see it from Christopher’s side, but from my view, it doesn’t work so well.
I supposed that really, as a parent, if I really believe that Christopher is better off, then that is enough for me. I need to be willing to suffer for the sake of my child. God is my perfect example.
It is an issue of focus. When I focus on my loss, I get very down. If at that point, Dr. Phil asked, “so how’s it working for you?”, I’d have to say not so good. If I can focus on the reality of heaven for Christopher even now and the certainty that his early departure is just an interruption in our relationship and I will see him again, then things are much better.
It is hard, though. April 26, just 2+ weeks away marks the 14th anniversary of Christopher’s adoption. I need to try to turn that into a day of focusing on “right stuff.”
I covet your prayers.