Some time ago, my pastor asked, “If you were given the script of your child’s life and you had five minutes, what, if anything, would you edit out?”
My wife, Julie, and I have two children. Our daughter is 14 and our son is 12, so I put great thought to my pastor’s question since my children have their whole lives ahead of them. Surely they’ll encounter some things that I can cut out of their scripts, right?
My initial thoughts were to quickly edit out any sort of pain or sickness. If I could help it, I would not allow either of them to ever have a broken heart or extremely challenging life experiences.
Perhaps I would remove one of their friends from their story who has the potential to be a bad influence on them, and I would definitely remove any marriage difficulties they may encounter in the years ahead. No car accidents, broken bones or migraine headaches.
You see, if I had their scripts, I wouldn’t make their lives perfect, but I would definitely make them easier. (And they could thank me for it later.)
Or maybe, just maybe, I would let the script play out, realizing that God is in control and uses the difficult circumstances in our lives to bring us into a closer relationship with Him.
God not only wrote the script for Jesus and did so while thinking of you and me, but God left that story untouched. No cutting. No pasting. No editing.
We all know the script and even celebrated it recently during the Easter season. Jesus died the most brutal and humiliating death possible. He was crucified on a cross—for our sins—so that we could one day be in the presence of God.
Then, He was buried yet rose again on the third day! As Jesus lived His life and God’s plan was being fulfilled, God did zero editing for His one and only Son. Wow, if God didn’t, why would I?
Matthew records Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” The Message version of the Bible puts it this way: “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want.”
God heard Jesus’ prayer that day, and His heart was probably crushed, but nothing changed. Dad watched His Son hurt … a lot. And Jesus went through with it and paid the price for you and me. And because of that, we can be made right with a holy God. I’m thankful for that, aren’t you?
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Jesus never promised us that life as a Christian would be easy. He did promise, though, that it would be possible and rewarding.
So, “let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3).
So, if you were given the script of your child’s life and you had five minutes, what, if anything, would you edit out?
Jason Sharp is station manager of 98.5 KTIS in the Twin Cities. Follow him on Twitter @jasonrsharp.