Grief, anger, lack of forgiveness and a family is being torn apart. After the death of a single mother, from a large and loving extended family, the child is left in the care of his grandparents. They knew and approved of the mother’s secret and kept the father unaware of the child. When he did discover that he was a father, he immediately took custody of the child. This left those who had been caring for the child, the first two years of his life, completely devastated.
The father set firm boundaries for the family, to establish some sense of normalcy, which they regularly crossed. There was no malicious intent, they just longing to see the child they felt they were beginning to lose. Desiring to make up for lost time with his son, and to discourage the boundary crosssing, the father further limited access to the rest of the family.
Heartbroken and believing they had no other choices, the grandparents finally sued for visitation rights. They did not want custody. They understood the child rightly belonged with his father. They simply wanted to be a part of their grandson’s life. They argued that the child had experienced his first years of life with them and it was not in the best interest of the child to exclude them. They also believed they had a right to see their grandchild. The dispute was tearing their once loving family apart, as others entered the fray and chose sides.
I shouldn’t have to share him with people who hate me.
Yet in this dark family fight is the light of the glory of the gospel. The glory of the Lord Jesus that is intended to shine in our hearts, affect us deeply, and transform us into his image. For the light shines in darkness. The light of the glory of the gospel shines through the words of the angry father as he defended his actions in court. He stood before the judge, visibly shaken and through tears, and with a clear and strong voice he said, “He’s my son, and I shouldn’t have to share him with people who hate me.” The simple truth of his statement is immediately apparent. He shouldn’t have to. In his eyes, their behavior made his decision to keep his son from them justifiable. And in that is the great glory of the gospel.
In that father’s sentiment is the magnanimity of our Lord’s decision to share His only Son with us. He was under no obligation, and our behavior gave him every justifiable reason to keep Him from us. But that we would be reconciled to Him, He not only chose to share His Son with those who hate Him, but He also chose to sacrifice His Son’s life. By the Son’s death we have received life, from the Father. The magnitude of the Father’s sacrifice broke through our hatred and animosity for Him and brought reconciliation. By faith, we have our introduction into this grace in which we now stand. And beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed into the same image with ever increasing glory, just as from the Lord. Wicked indeed are those who, standing in that kind of grace, do not share with others that same grace that brings reconciliation. So, for all who may be in similarly dark places, in the glory of the gospel, the light is shining.