If I Knew Then What I Know Now

blueprintI was the single parent of a first-grader when I decided to have an addition put on my house. I had no idea what I was getting myself into; I only knew I needed more space and an upstairs bathroom in this tiny Cape Cod.

I’ll never forget the Saturday morning my little daughter came into my room to tell me, “Mommy, there are some men at the door to work on our house. I think they’re speaking Italian.” I told her I’d be right there to let them in, to which she responded, “Oh, I already did.”

Thankfully, they were the plumbers my general contractor had sent, not some nefarious scam artists prowling the neighborhood. By the time I got into the kitchen they were unloading their tools and already (presumably) discussing their strategy for upgrading my ancient pipes to accommodate the new plumbing – in Polish, not Italian, by the way.

The remodeling project went on for months. And truthfully? I thought I would lose my mind. I hadn’t realized the disruption it would cause. I never expected to have to make so many decisions about things I knew nothing about. And frankly, I had no idea how much it was going to end up costing by the end.

Yep, I was pretty naive to take that project on.

In the end I was glad I had done it, but I’ll be honest with you: If I had known what I was getting myself into, I seriously doubt I would have attempted it.  

As I was walking my dog in the neighborhood recently, I was reflecting on that experience and the whole if I had it to do over again part. Then a sobering thought came to me, “Jesus knew exactly what He was getting into and He did it anyway.”

The whole time Christ was on earth, He knew what was coming, and it wasn’t just dust, disruption, and a depleted bank account, but betrayal, humiliation, and ultimately, execution.

He was neither naive nor uninformed. He had a clear vision of how He would die, and actually could have chosen not to go through with it, but he didn’t bail. Instead, the Bible tells us He “set His face” (Luke 9:51) to go to Jerusalem, where He would face unbelievable cruelty. He was motivated by love and a depth of determination we can only imagine.

The agony of anticipation alone must have been staggering but He was committed to accomplishing the will of the Father to rescue humanity from the depravity of their sin.

A friend this week reminded me that so great was His love, Jesus made excuses for His tormentors even as He bled out on the cross:

“They think I’m a lawbreaker, a blasphemer. I’ve hidden my face from them. Forgive them. They don’t realize what they’re doing.

He pleaded for mercy for His executioners!

And when He had willingly done what He came to earth to do – what, in His humanity, must have been terrifying – He declared, “It is finished.”

That is a powerful, personal love I can scarcely get my mind around.

forever gratefulThe magnitude of His sacrifice continues to astound me; the depth of His love humbles me. In the words of the popular worship song, I say again and again: “I’m forever grateful”. 



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About Diane Rivers

Diane is a native Floridian whose career as an FBI Agent got her transferred to the North. She's retired from that gig now and "repurposed" as a freelance writer, author, and sometimes poet who blogs about the bumpy, bone-jostling ride of her “workaround” life. She loves Jesus, her family, black coffee, kayaking, biking, and hiking, and she looks forward to eternity with the One who will make all things beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

7 thoughts on “If I Knew Then What I Know Now”

  1. I can relate to the remodel…I had my refrigerator in the entrance all and the dresser in the living room for months! Took over a year to do the upgrade on the floor, which should have only taken a few days! God was teaching me that things don’t have to be in order physically for me to have peace and joy within! LOVEYOU, kat

  2. It is so easy to get caught up in your daily life that you forget the sacrifices of others. People who willing give up their time to help in any way they can. Grant it, it’s not the sacrifice of Jesus but someone who is giving their love in their own way. As always, a beautifully written reflection and one that make me stop and think and give thanks to all those who help me in my life!
    Thanks Diane!

  3. Many thanks of this important reminder of Jesus’ willingness to put the best spin on other people’s actions. Wow, that is really hard most of the time, but it is good to know that God is putting the best spin on even my failure to do the same to others!

  4. Diane, this is so true! I can think of many things I would have turned and run the other way if I had known what I was getting myself into. That Jesus knew and did it anyway is a eye-popping reminder of His great love for us.

Your feedback is welcome!