Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Body is Heavy

Written by Shannon Leigh

Oh how my little grape-sized peanut is really taking a toll on my body.

Everyone told me I was going to be tired but I was not prepared for the “feels like I’ve been drugged” kind of tired. When I get home from work, I am totally worthless. This is really not a good thing, especially when I run a small business in the evenings and weekends. My poor (understanding ) husband hasn’t had a decent meal in weeks. (I did make a "real" meal last night. I was mighty proud and I'm sure Matt appreciated the effort).

I shot a wedding in Chicago on Saturday with the talented Matt DeBackere. An Indian Catholic wedding mind you... it was beautiful but it made for QUITE the day. Then on Sunday we had a family reunion of sorts (appropriately deemed Dudfest 09). Both were lovely but I’m pretty sure I still haven't recovered as far as sleep and energy are concerned.

Speaking of Dudfest 09, WHAT A FANTASTIC DAY! What a fantastic family of believers I have. SO much love, support, and friendship. It was GREAT to spend time with Granddad who has just recently decided to opt out of Chemo treatments. How proud we are of this patriarch. How much we adore him. How much we can praise Jesus for Granddad's life here on earth and praise him even more for his eternal life with Jesus. A man of faith and love that we all hope we have a piece of. A man who has made those around him feel like they were the most important, and special people on this earth. I only hope that my son or daughter will become half the man he is. I can't even describe the amount of love and respect I have for him and the impact he has had on my life.

I have been thinking and praying a lot about life and death recently so bear with me.

I've been trying to wrap my brain around the consequences of our sins and eternal life. It's been a battle in my heart and mind and I praise God for giving me a little bit more understanding in the recent weeks.

This is what I have come up with so far:

God created us as mortal creatures in the beginning but he provided for our every need, including the Tree of Life. It's purpose was to extend man's life and to stave off the forces of decay. Our number of days were eternal while eating from the tree that God had provided.

When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, God expelled mankind from the Garden, purposely separating them from the Tree of Life. Therefore human death and decay and separation from God became the payment for sin. We were intended to live eternally in communion with God in a perfect place provided by Him. Death became a constant reminder of the consequences of our sin. When Jesus came to earth he bridged the gap from death/separation from God to eternal communion with God. Jesus says in John 6: 47- 50...

"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die."

"But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:22-23

So we are left to struggle, strive and die (we will live no more than 120 years) as a reminder of our sin. On earth, if we believe and trust in Jesus as savior, we get to be sanctified, forgiven and set free. But as believers we have a choice when it comes to death. We can fear death or we can rejoice in it. We get to meet our perfect creator and live for all of eternity in the vastness of his glory. And a little encouragement about our sufferings on Earth from 1 Peter 4:12-14.

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”

In conclusion, our time here on earth is much better spent thinking of things above, for our lives are but vapors. The James 4:13-14 says...

"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit'— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'"

Granddad told us on Saturday that "this was one of the best days of his life" but hold on to your hat Granddad for In HIS presence there is the fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11)


sarah said...

i was really blessed by this post! your granddad sounds like an amazing person, and your attitude is so Christ-centered. thanks for this!

Chase Abner said...

I really enjoyed this, Shannon. I've actually heard it taught that God had to separate man from the Tree of Life after the fall because then Adam would live forever in his cursed state. God wanted to preserve them so that redemption might come through the second Adam.

Shauna said...

Amen, Shannon. Amen.