2017: Page 231

Page 231 was a quiet day.  After a late night, I slept in a little while before getting up to write the previous day’s page.  As I checked on Susan, she was having a quiet seizure and was mostly just lost.  I sat with her until she made her way back to being aware of her surroundings and where she was.  She was tired so she went back to sleep and I went back to my writing.  Once my writing was finished, I did some checking on some overnight trip options but it seemed everything was either over-priced, unavailable, or didn’t interest me — or at least didn’t interest me enough to pay the price.  That seems to be what it often comes down to when we say something is over-priced — it’s not worth that much to me.  There are many things that one person considers over-priced that another person considers a bargain.  Often our knowledge of everything that goes into the product or service influences our perception of value — either positively or negatively.  

Jesus says that the price of being His disciple is everything you have.  People tend to respond to that in a variety of ways.  Some simply say the price is too high, they’re not interested if that is what it would cost them to follow Jesus.  Many try to strike up a bargain, they try to see how little than can actually get by with and still call themselves a disciple of Jesus.  They will give something, but this idea of giving everything can’t really be what Jesus meant.  Besides, doesn’t Jesus say that whatever we lose for His sake will be restored many times over — why don’t I just skip the loss and restoration parts and keep what I already have?  Then there are those who get it.  They understand that the price is directly related to the cost.  The cost to Jesus is really beyond our comprehension.  Yes, we think we understand death — but the we’re quick to say, “But He came back to life!”.  The cost was more than simply death — it was death on a cross.  But even before it came to that, Jesus was paying for our ability to be in relationship with Him.  The Bible says that He emptied Himself and became a servant — a slave to mankind.  He gave up everything so that we could be restored.  And after He had given up everything, God lifted Him up and restored Him to His rightful place in heaven — just as He desires to lift us up and restore us unto Himself when we pay the “asking price” of everything.

After lunch, we headed out for a little family adventure.  We made a visit to the Hesston Steam Museum and went for a train ride behind one of their steam engines.  It is a fascinating place and always interesting to see the steam powered equipment in use.  The rest of the afternoon was spent along the shores of Lake Michigan.  After a drive along the waterfront, we stopped in Michigan City where we were greeted by a few butterflies enjoying a large butterfly bush.  We even saw a hummingbird join them for a time.  Butterflies often catch our attention because of their beauty and design, but it is so easy to forget that they don’t start life that way.  God says that when we are in Christ, we are a new creation.  The old is stripped away and gone, and He transforms us into the beautiful creation He has designed us to be.  The butterfly photos were followed by some time spent on the lighthouse pier capturing photos of the sunset as the sun dropped behind the Chicago skyline.

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

  • Sometimes the best thing we can do for a person who is lost and wandering is to just sit with them and be a safe presence.
  • The price we’re willing to pay for something generally reflects the value we give it.
  • Through the price He paid, God demonstrated the value He places on us.
  • Our willingness, or unwillingness, to give up everything to follow Jesus, says a lot about the value we place on being His disciple.
  • God has both the desire and ability to transform the ugliness of our sinful life into something beautiful.
  • Even as the sun sets to finish our day, it is rising to begin the day for someone else.

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