A Father’s Heartbreak

alone-96856_150Several years ago, as I was leaving a Burger King parking lot with my teenage son, Andrew, I carefully looked left and then right.  Seeing that the way was clear, I pulled out and turned left onto the hilly road.  Seemingly out of nowhere, a car whizzed by just in front of us, missing a violent full-speed collision by a mere few feet.  As I caught my breath, I realized that a split second had meant the difference between Andrew living a normal life and Andrew either being killed or possibly paralyzed for life.  I quietly drove home, pondering what an unimaginable heartbreak I would have faced, a heartbreak that no amount of success or happiness elsewhere could have overcome.

A few weeks later, after I had said good-night to Andrew, I quietly returned to his bedroom, peeking in the door at his still body as he drifted off to sleep.  Suddenly his left leg moved slightly, and I flashed back to that near collision.  I quietly thanked God for protecting Andrew and for sparing me the incomprehensible anguish of losing my only son, whom I love with every fiber of my being.

And then it dawned on me.  God the Father was not spared the unimaginable heartbreak of losing His only Son.  The One whom I was thanking experienced that very heartbreak.  And He experienced it because of me, because of my sin, and because of His unfathomable love for me.  He sacrificed His only Son to pay the penalty that I owe but cannot pay myself.

And then I wondered what it would be like to sacrifice my son so that others could live – only to have no one tell anyone about it.  Is that what we do when we fail to obey Jesus’ Great Commission (see Matthew 28:18-20)?  Is that how God the Father feels when we don’t seek to proclaim the Good New and make disciples?

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