Thursday, April 09, 2009

Stop and Remember

Last night I asked Christy what Holy Week was making her think about this year… how the memory of Jesus’ death was impacting her heart this time around, and she reminded me of this story: Six and a half years ago we lived in Cookeville, TN. We had been married just over a year and these were our last few months in that town before we moved to Oak Ridge. I was working and Christy was finishing up her last semester of college; which for an education major means student teaching. By the way, student teaching is where you work someone else’s full time job while they sit and watch and get paid for what you’re doing. Anyway, there was this one day that sticks out in her mind because of how bad it was… it had been a hard day with kids and a hard day with her supervising teacher. The final bell of the school day was a sweet relief that probably felt like being released from prison. You know those days where you doubt every life choice you’ve ever made and hate your job like poison? Yeah.

Christy tells me that when I arrived at Cane Creek Elementary to pick her up, she was in a bad way. She was frustrated, she was hurt and she was just plain ‘over it.’ She piled her stuff in the car and got in. We didn’t say much, but just started to drive off. The Sara Groves song that had been playing in the background suddenly became the soundtrack to our drive home. It was a song written by Pierce Pettis about the death of Jesus and how it’s supposed to change our lives that’s called, “You Did That For Me.” Christy told me that in the middle of all the emotional strain of the problems of that day, she heard these words from the bridge of that song:

"Man of sorrows, well acquainted with grief, drug down to the city dump, spread eagle on a cross beam, propped up like a scarecrow and nailed like a thief, there for all the world to see, You did that for me, You did that for me, You wore the chains so I could be free, You did that for me…"

Upon hearing those words and thinking about Jesus and all He endured, Christy says she just started to cry… Suddenly the problems of that horrible school day vanished under the weight of love for the Savior and sorrow over the sin that held Him to the cross. That’s what Good Friday is all about. It is a chance to stop and remember. It is a chance to look at all He did because of who I’ve been and remember that somehow… Hallelujah… somehow, it was all because of love.

1 John 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.” Everything He endured, from the arrest, through the trials and torture, the ridicule, the piercing, the bleeding and the abandonment of the Father until He gave up His life unto death… it was all about love for you and me. When I think about who I’ve been and realize that somehow He loves me in spite of all that, and loves me so much as to die for me, it makes me different. It puts my problems and pains in perspective and fills me with something else instead: love for Him.


Christy Younger said...

Oh, how well I remember that day. I love you to death, Bibi! You are such a wonderful writer. Oh, may our Lord fill me with that love!

Molly and Brad said...

I needed that today, Lee. Thank you. :) Love you, bud. Love that wife of yours too.

Ogle - the Way it Is said...

Thank you for your words, brother. I love you and I love your encouragement, honesty, and pointing to Christ.
You're a hero of mine - no doubt.

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