Monday, April 7, 2008

Proclaiming His Excellencies

We had a great sermon yesterday that really made me think about what's happening in our life right now. (If you're interested, you can listen to it here). Our pastor, Brian Fisher, is talking about our sacrifices, and do we really worship God sacrificially? It was different in the OT when they had animals and sacrifices to make, today, it's easier to act like we're giving sacrificially, when maybe we're not (how are we really spending our time, money, etc.?) Well, this is where I realized that our son and our time left with him can be used as a sacrifice! I can choose to sit back and become angry and bitter about the situation, or, I can choose to worship the One who gave us Tanner in the first place!

I like this definition for sacrifice: the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim. I don't like thinking about the idea of sacrificing Tanner, but, we're definitely not the only ones ever asked to do that! Abraham was ready to sacrifice Isaac, and of course, God sent His own son to die for us, and many other parents are doing the same thing right now! God has given us everything and given us His best, so how do I not give my best in return? How can I not give back to Him fully? I think that God is asking us to worship Him through this struggle and pain, and to give up our dreams and hopes for Tanner, to fulfill His hopes and dreams for Tanner.

That's one of the harder things to think about - our hopes and dreams for him never being realized. But, I try to remember that they ARE! Maybe not in the way that we have planned, but, his life will still be just as complete as any of us!

As I think about sacrifice, I often think of things that would be hard for me to give up, my comfortable lifestyle, my car, my home, etc. Tanner is such a great example of how God wants us to give to Him. Whatever Tanner has, he does not hold tightly to; probably his most prized possession to date is this glass blown horse that was given to him when we were visiting Niagara Falls last September. Here he is enjoying the horse at the glass making factory.
This precious glass horse was so special to him. Within the next few days he tried to give this horse to many different people, just because he knew it would make them happy! WOW! I hold onto my things (a little too tightly sometimes, ok, most of the time), and here is such an amazing example in my own son!

Last night I had a harder time thinking about this and the reality of what it means - tears and frustration came easily, along with fear for the future, but thankfully, He can take that too!

Well, this post has become much longer than I expected it to be. But, I wanted to share the verse where the title came from. This is what I want to do through this struggle and hurt, to proclaim HIS excellencies because of what HE has done for us!

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9



johnna j. said...

Shelly, thanks for doing this blog. We want to stay informed on how you guys are doing and how we can serve, love and pray for you. Tanner brings such joy to our hearts everytime we see him. You and Jon are such a tangible expression of God's love. Your lives proclaim His excellencies!!!

Aunt Lenda said...

What a beautiful message! Thanks for sharing these hard things. You are an encouragement to us all. God is blessing many through you as well as Tanner.

Anonymous said...

This whole experience has made me appreciate every second of everyday that I have with Tanner. He gave me a flower today. This is not unusual. As most everyone knows he is a vey giving child. The unusual part is that usually I just throw them down when I think he isn't looking. But today, today I cherish the flower. I think I will press it in my bible so I will remember to cherish the little things in life.

Dick said...

What can I say? You already know how much it hurts to watch your child hurt, I too experience that. As your dad, I would do whatever it took to take this away, but God (our "Dad") knows that even better, is with us, crying and caring as much. Thanks for sharing yourself and Tanner with us.

Diane Frederickson said...

Your insight and words brought tears of "glory" to my eyes and heart. I too love to immerse myself in music and sign at the same time - it is a wonderful worship time for me. I know Your Heavenly Father is watching in awe as you have so early on in this journey have embraced his message to you. The ultimate message of sacrifice. Just know that He walked every step of the way in that sacrifice and will do so with you, your, family and your friends that have embraceed this journey with you. Bless your Pastor as he gave such a timely message for you as well. Love you all!

Anonymous said...

Jon Shel& Tanner, You have been on my mind in my prayers and even in my dreams since I got the news last night. You know better than anyone that I never wanted anyone to ever have to go through what we went through. Looks like God had other plans. He saw great things in you. We will be there every step of the way with you. We love you all very much and will do whatever we can to help you.

Dina said...

Shelly & Jon -- What a story to! That glass horse has so much to say. You know what it's saying now? It's saying it is so happy to be in Tanner's precious hands. Why? because Tanner's hands provide warmth, gentleness, kindness, and care...much like Jesus provides to each of His children (we are God's fragile glass horses).