I’ve got a tremendously busy week ahead of me, so the posts may be a tad shorter.
I may have mentioned it before but my fourteen month old son has a bad allergy. He is allergic to sleep. My wife and I have had very few nights of uninterrupted sleep over the last year and 3 months save for the merciful nights that our parents have taken the kids. I feel like there’s a meter on the side of my head sometimes that communicates my exhaustion to the world, people seem to be able to tell that I’m not resting…in thinking about it a little more clearly it could be that I just scowl a lot more when I’m extremely sleepy.
Last night was no different.
At around 3:30 the call went out from the nursery signalling the presence of a deficiency in comfort or attention; both deficiencies are notified with the same squalling. As we laid in bed waiting for the unthinkable to take place, a silent house, my wife breathed heavily and said, “It’s your turn.” And with those words I slithered out of bed and blindly stumbled to the scene of the crime. That began an hour and a half saga that I don’t really feel up to relaying now…or ever.
“It’s your turn.”
At the time, I was frustrated by those words. But the more that I’ve thought about them today the more the frustration has dissipated and my peace and joy have returned, slowly but steadily. You see, today, in the aftermath of that nonsense last night, “It’s your turn” means something much different from last night. Last night, “it’s your turn” meant that I would be on the hook for the cute little monster that despises slumber with a white, burning hatred. Last night, “it’s your turn” meant that I would certainly step on a toy or two, bang my shin on something, and suffer from the stress of being startled every few minutes with little eyes boring holes in me, or shrieks, or flops all signalling that sleep was far, far away from both my son and I. Last night, “it’s your turn” sounded like a death sentence handed down by Nero himself. But today things are different.
Today, “it’s your turn” mean that tonight it’s not my turn.
While my wife is not Messianic, and doesn’t claim to be, I was warmed by the simple reality that this wrought in my heart. Jesus came to earth, lived perfectly, and then died a death He didn’t deserve in my place. Up until Calvary it was “my turn”. Up until the cross it was “my turn”. Up until the spotless sacrifice from Heaven it was “my turn”. My turn to bear my own sin, my own shame, my own curse, my own death, my own dark destiny. But in a move of heroic brilliance the Savior looked down through history from His torturous perch, hanging between heaven and earth, He finally fulfilled the prophecy He made to Nathanael as He became the point that man and God met, ascending and descending based on His intermediary status. In that moment He saw me in my sin and said, “now, it’s My turn”.
And life has never been the same.
I go to bed different tonight. Though I hope last night was the final night of this sleepless trend forever in my house, even if it’s not, it’s not my turn. And similarly, I don’t walk through my days on this earth the same anymore, I don’t dread lifeless existence and rootless drifting. I’m not afraid of what it might mean for me to pass on from this life because I know what’s coming. Two thousand years ago Jesus took my turn and when He did, it was the last time it needed to be taken.
With apologies to my wife today I offer this simple encouragement. If you’ve been to the cross, if Jesus has brought you back to life, there is nothing to dread. Because for this life and the one beyond, it’s not our turn. Jesus took our turn for us.