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A Heavenly Perspective?

In my family when you turn 18 the gift from my parents is a piece of jewellery. My brothers were given watches, my sister a silver bracelet, I chose a silver cross with a piece of Jet set in it. I have worn that cross almost every day since my 18th birthday. I am so used to it that I don’t notice it any more unless someone points it out. My attention is drawn to my necklace when I’m holding a baby or small child. They point to it or fiddle with it. More often than not it ends up in their mouth!! 

Recently I have spent more time than usual with a small baby in my arms. As I have been feeding my daughter her arms go everywhere. Like with other children her hands often find my cross and cling to it. It has become a favourite position for her, She will feed and settle to sleep the whole time holding on to my cross. During one of the late night/early morning feeds I was reminded of the song ‘The Old Rugged Cross’. I searched for it on my phone and listened to it quietly as Zoe fed. The words struck me as really comforting: 

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross

The emblem of suffering and shame

And I love that old cross where the dearest and best 

For a world of lost sinners was slain 

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross

Till my trophies at last I lay down

And I will cling to the old rugged cross 

And exchange it some day for a crown 

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true

It’s shame and reproach gladly bear

Then he’ll call me someday to my home far away 

Where his glory forever I’ll share 

And I’ll cherish the old rugged cross

Till my trophies at last I lay down

And I will cling to the old rugged cross 

And exchange it some day for a crown 

The Old Rugged Cross lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner Chappell Music, Inc

The song oozes with heavenly perspective. Do we?? 

As I have sat these last few weeks in the early hours, with a small baby crying for no apparent reason, I have struggled. Listening to this song challenged me to think on a bigger perspective. A few months ago, I was sat awake during the night worrying about the baby I was carrying in my tummy, not knowing if something had happened. I found myself just waiting to feel that next kick or movement to reassure me the baby was still alive.

This time last year I was sat awake in the night without a baby because our first child, Boaz, was still-born so we never got to bring him home from hospital. When I put my current struggles in that perspective I am thankful for the crying baby that won’t let me sleep. Her cry is a reminder that she is alive and well. Even if she is fed, clean, warm and should be asleep, I will still thank God for the baby He has given to us. And I will keep singing the old rugged cross to her until she does sleep! 

As this reflection has been coming together, we have celebrated/ remembered what would have been Boaz’s first birthday. I couldn’t help but think of this song and Zoe clinging to my cross. Not only does God want me to look at my current struggles with a bigger perspective, He wants me to look at them with a heavenly perspective. One day I will have the privilege of exchanging these momentary struggles for a crown of infinite glory!! A crown that Boaz is already wearing! 

A passage I have found so comforting in the last year is 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 and 16-18 (NIVUK): 

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I am not belittling the current struggles you or I find ourselves in the middle of!! The enemy will do his best to overwhelm us, but God calls us to a bigger, heavenly perspective. He doesn’t expect us to do that alone though…He gives us His Holy Spirit to help us, but he also gives us other believers who will not let us settle for anything less than Gods best. 

Who is around you that can help you find and hold onto your heavenly perspective!?

Rachel is Mum to Boaz and Zoe, Inspire Missioner and Prayer Coordinator for the Inspire Movement.

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