Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Seeing Jesus in the Butterflies


God has woven an illustrative world. Have you ever looked at a seemingly still piece of earth for more than a moment, only to see it transform with every passing second into a superhighway of insect industry?

God's world is like that. Everywhere we look, if we look closely enough, we will see microscopic metaphors wriggling around like maggots in a seaman's biscuit- but the metaphors are much more attractive, and they taste better.

Children are well known for asking the question "why?" Why do trees grow so tall? Why is the sky blue? Why do animals die? Why does two plus two always equal four? 

Too often as adults we confuse the question "why" with the question "how." When the child asks why seeds grow into plants, we respond with a scientific explanation of photosynthesis and germination. When they ask why grape juice becomes wine, we launch into a dissertation on fermentation. (Or maybe we look it up online with them because we have no clue...)

But while these scientific answers explain what happens, they do not explain why

And the answer to the why is, ultimately, "because that's the way God made it."

And why did He make it that way? Because He wanted to, of course... but why did He want to? The Lord of heaven and earth is the greatest of all storytellers. It should be no surprise that the poetic little rabbit trails scattered throughout His saga are not just random and unconnected rants; He has spun a world full of foreshadows and illustrations and poetic representations of deeper realities.

We see this in Scripture. Jesus is the Door, He is the Bread, He is the Water, He is the Good Shepherd. Christians shouldn't live on milk. God is a Rock. My wife is a crown. The heavens have voices.

So then, let us not be content with knowing how. Let us look deeper and ask why. The more we do this, the more we will discover that in everything our eyes rest upon, we should see Jesus, not just in the how- though the how is indeed full of rich illustrations of God's creative genius and the glory of Christ in holding all together- but also in the why. 

Maybe grape juice turns into wine because the intoxicating deliciousness of marriage grows better with every passing year.

Maybe the laws of physics bind us from walking through walls because the only way to come to The Father is through The Door. (John 10:9)

Maybe we cannot live without water because we cannot live without Jesus. (John 4:14)

Maybe gold is rare because a Godly wife is so hard to find. (Pr. 31)

Maybe hunger hurts because laziness should hurt too. (Pr. 16:26)

Maybe seeds grow into plants which produce a thousand-fold more seeds because sin is not stagnant and it will multiply where it is not uprooted. (Eph. 6)

Maybe muscles grow stronger with use because righteousness is not stagnant either, and the more we walk in obedience to Christ the easier it becomes. (Eph. 6)

Maybe trees take hundreds of years to reach their full potential because we will not see the full ramifications of our actions for generations to come.

Maybe leaven causes bread to rise because we will be influenced by those we associate with. (Matt. 16:6)

Maybe rocks are such a firm and immovable foundation because God is unwaveringly faithful. (Ps. 18:2)

Maybe caterpillars go into cocoons because God is in the business of making butterflies.

Maybe babies need so much from their parents because adults need to remember that they need so much from their Father. (Matt. 7:9)

Maybe weddings are so joyful because they are a taste of the consummation of the ages.

When we look at a plant, then, we should see Jesus. When we look at a butterfly, we should see Jesus. When we look at a rock, or a glass of wine, or a wedding, or a baby, we should see Jesus. 

The earth is already filled with the Glory of the Lord. (Is. 6:3)

The challenge is just seeing it. (Hab. 2:14)

#FillTheEarth

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Feminism and Spandex


My daughter. Born May 7, 2016.

Our baby's name, Jael Bethany Hudelson, means the following...

Jael is called to be a fruitful, home-focused warrioress, like her Biblical namesake, and like her mother. 

Jael means "mountain climber" or "mountain goat;" our little girl is called to conquer obstacles and do hard things for the glory of Jesus Christ. 

Bethany means "house of dates;" Jael is called to bear fruit for the kingdom of God, both in her endeavors and accomplishments and, if God wills, in her womb someday. Just like her mother. 

The Biblical Jael was not a trained warrior; she was a homemaker who was courageous and capable enough to deal a decisive blow to the enemies of God. In the midst of a culture that holds up spandex-clad female warriors as ideal women, Jael's namesake represents a womanhood that is neither China-doll nor masculine; in the midst of a culture that counts dollars and not descendants, degrees and not dominion, Jael represents a woman who is fulfilled in her God-given role, keeping her husband's home; in the midst of a gender-confused and sexually perverse culture, Jael represents a womanhood which is clearly and happily feminine, even in her combat methodology; Jael represents a womanhood which sees her battlefield as the home. 

Jael is called to be a woman ready to put spiritual tent pegs through the temples of the ideological enemies of God like feminism, relativism, and political correctness; a courageous woman devoted to the Kingdom of God and not to her own comfort; a woman who, like her mother and grandmothers before her, will stand strong in the face of a culture that despises all that she represents. 

Jael is also called to be a woman who, if worst came to worst, could pour some literal milk and wield some literal tent pegs with deadly effect.

And then the symbolism of her middle and last names. 

Jael is called to carry on the covenant with Jesus Christ which her mother, Bethany, so dearly holds, and which is the most treasured legacy of the Hudelson name. 

It's all about Jesus, baby girl. 

Fill the earth. (Hab. 2:14)

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As an aside, talking about feminism and spandex... I just watched my wife go to war, y'all. I held her hand and gazed into her eyes as she fought to bring a baby into this world. I saw in her face more ferocity, more determination, more perseverance through incredible difficulty than any super-woman movie character on any Hollywood screen could ever pretend to be overcoming. And I couldn't help but think- why do women go anywhere else to pursue greatness? Why try and compete with the guys when you could do something they can't? Why develop unnatural strengths when you are created with such amazing natural strengths?

I remember discussing fitness with my sister and a friend, and my sister asked "well, if guys are better at upper-body strength, what are girls better at?"

I said "having babies." The sad thing is that in our culture, that is seen as insulting. And so we see how feminism has degraded womanhood. Instead of honoring the incredible unique power of women to be mothers and homemakers, we force them to measure themselves as laborers against the men who were designed by God to be those laborers. 

My boss told me about a visit to Discount Tire during which he saw a 120-pound woman struggling to torque tire nuts to the required near-200 ft. lb. requirement... And another woman telling her manager that she couldn't get six tires onto the top shelf... 

Meanwhile, the military reduces their physical fitness requirements so women can go to war. 

Meanwhile, women are celebrated for being the first woman to do something that a hundred men have already done. 

Meanwhile, my wife goes through labor. And I am awe-struck. I see a depth of power and ferocity that I never knew in her. I see the thousand yard stare of a terrifying warrioress. And I think- for a woman, surely any other accomplishment, any other career path cannot compare; any other paper or trophy hanging on the wall can only ever be a step down from a picture of another human soul brought into the world by the kind of labor only a woman can do.