For The Joy

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  

Hebrews 12:3

Rebekah was massive when she was 8-9 months pregnant with Nate. Her feet and legs were swollen and they choked my feet when she placed them on me. You could press on her leg and your hand would get lost in her leg. Her legs were like memory foam and you could see your hand’s indentation when you lifted it off of her leg. She was filled with fluid and I hardly recognized her at times. All the ultrasounds showed a healthy baby boy, but nothing prepared us for what was to come. 

Nate’s arrival came before we knew it, and we were all excited at his arrival. Rebekah endured many hours of labor but she could not pass Nathaniel through. She was having so much difficulty that they scheduled her for a C-section. Her nurse encouraged her to push and she was determined to have the baby without a C-section. Rebekah was exhausted and full of emotion but she finally started to make headway in pushing out Nate. Nate made his way into the world, and we were all shocked on how big he was. He tipped the scales at 9lbs, 2oz, and he looked huge as they prepped him on the tiny crib. 

Rebekah spent countless sleepless hours feeding Nate, and he seemed to never get full. We look at that time in our life, and it seems like we slept-walk through the first ten months of his young life. Rebekah endured those months like a champ, but I hardly think she did it with joy. She was tired and worn down, and Nate seemed to suck the life out of her. I am not sure she would relive those days, but she does take joy in him now.

I know it is a silly part of life I shared, but our Savior’s sacrifice was not just for one person, but for all of mankind. He endured the hardship of the cross, which was both physically and mentally taxing. His face was unrecognizable and he was ridiculed by the very ones whom He created. He did not complain about the situation, but rather had joy in it. He lived to do the Father’s will, and He was affixed on completing what He was sent to earth for. He was motivated by the joy that was set before Him, and He is now seated at the right hand at the throne of God. He was humbled, bruised and wounded for all of us, and The Father was well pleased with Him. 

Do you understand the payment Jesus made for you? Do you realize the great sacrifice He has made for you? Do you live the Christian life out of gratitude and joy, or do you complain when asked to serve? Is your focus on doing the Father’s will or would you rather please yourself? Jesus was willing to humble Himself and to endure the shame, and we are often embarrassed by people simply knowing we are a Christian. How will His sacrifice affect you today? Will you live for Him with joy? Will you seek to do the Father’s will above all else? May we look unto Jesus as our perfect example, and may we always desire to do the will of the Father. For the joy! 

Stay in the fight! 

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