Note: These words were written back in December 2015 while we were pregnant with Abel. For more of their posts from that season, you can visit www.abelpaulcrawford.wordpress.com
Pictured: Proud daddy Daniel with Abel Paul on his birthday (01/22/2016)
“Every year as the Christmas season approaches, we think about God the Son (which makes sense, since it’s Jesus’ birth that we are celebrating). However, as our calendars turned from November to December this year, we find our heart’s gaze drawn to God the Father even more than God the Son…
Don’t get me wrong, we resonate with God the Son this year in a new way too. We can both tell you that we would happily and willingly lay down our lives to save Abel, much in the same way that Jesus was willing to lay down his life for ours. If I could know that my own death could preserve the earthly + eternal life of Abel Paul, while easier said than done, I would sign up for that tomorrow.
Where we are more confounded than ever this Christmas season is when we think about God the Father. As the parents of Abel, we daily pray (and ask your help in praying) for an eternal perspective; that we would fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen (2 Cor 4:16-18). We pray that the Lord would use Abel’s life to glorify Himself, and maybe even help bring someone to a greater understanding of Christ and even a saving faith in Christ.
But truthfully, if given the chance to write the story ourselves, there’s no scenario in which we ourselves would willingly CHOOSE for Abel to die. Even if we could somehow know that by hearing our family’s story, the gospel would ‘click’ for hundreds of people who would be reconciled to the Lord through Jesus’s sacrificial death on our behalf, Abel’s death still wouldn’t feel “worth it” to us. And that’s a confession to you all, and a reminder that we still possess a woefully short-sighted view of eternity… that we’re humans who imperfectly struggle to gain & maintain the eternal perspective that we pray for. But it’s honestly how we feel.
And so that’s when it hit us: God the Father KNEW that this little boy born 2000 years ago had a very specific mission in his earthly life. A daunting Roman cross was in His sovereign view when He sent Jesus to dwell amongst us that one December. The depth of this sacrifice fills us with a greater sense of awe than ever before at just how deep The Father’s love is for us… how the love He feels for His redeemed sons & daughters in Christ is SO GREAT that there’s nothing He wouldn’t do to be with us, forever… even the voluntary death of God the Son.
He knew that Jesus was born to die, so that we might truly live. He knew it, and He sent him anyway.
And therein lies a new meaning to Christmas this year for Abel’s parents: when Jesus came in the flesh, fully God and fully man, you & I were all declared “WORTH IT.” The Father considered you WORTH sending His only Son to save, and the Son considered you WORTH being crucified for. Acts of unfathomable love toward people who have proven to be FAR from lovable, and through Jesus we are now freely offered eternal salvation instead of eternal separation. Both life after death, and life to the full here and now in a reconciled relationship with our Maker. That’s the gospel, friends.
“How deep the Father’s love for us… How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss… The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One bring many sons to glory.”
We already told you that we wouldn’t have made that trade… but God the Father did. That fact brings me relief that we’re not God (even when we try and act like it) as well as comfort that He is the One writing Abel’s story, not us.”
These words were written back in December 2015 while our co-founders Daniel & Kelly Crawford were pregnant with Abel. For more of their posts from that season, you can click here.