By far the most painful of all losses is a lost or damaged relationship. People we care about and love betray or hurt us. Our natural reaction is to draw a line in the sand and push back. Divorce damages relationships. The relationship I want to speak to is the Father/Daughter relationship.
No matter if you’re estranged from your father or he is estranged from you, please know God can restore your relationship. I hear a lot of young ladies say they have a love/hate relationship with their dad. Understood. Every family relationship experiences wide spectrums of emotion but the resolution isn’t to end the relationship. Let’s drill down a little further.
Scenario number one: If your Father is non-existent in your life please don’t give up on this relationship. You have a voice. I don’t care how old you are. Our technology leaves no excuse for non-communication. The old fashioned way still works, too. Write a letter to your dad and write out of love and adoration (no matter what his problems are), because he’s your father. You absolutely cannot do this by yourself and Jesus doesn’t expect you to. He’s waiting to help you through this painful ordeal. (more…)
“Oh look, that spider is still there.” I said to my sister after dropping my enormous backpack onto the floor of the bedroom that we shared with our brother at my dad’s house. “It looks like it hasn’t even moved since last week.”
“Yeah, I think I saw it the weekend before that, too.” My sister replied.
“Maybe we should squish it. But it’s not really doing any harm way over here in the corner.” I stooped to get a closer look at the spindly spider.
“We should name him. He’s practically a fourth resident of the room!” My sister decided.
“How about Legs? You know, because it’s a daddy long-legs…so we call it Legs.” I tried to sell my idea with some persuasive eyebrow action. She smirked at my corny joke but agreed to the name.
During that weekend and in the weekends to follow, it was strangely nice to know that there was a constant companion hiding out in the corner of our bedroom, watching everything that was going on. Legs just sat there, but to my imagination he seemed to empathize with me when I felt lonely. Each Friday he dependably greeted us in our weekend home, and each Saturday night I wondered as I shut the door if he would still be there next week.
It is easy to forget that every Christian has a permanent friend who is nearer to us that any other friend could be. Jesus says that he will “never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, Deut. 31:6). He empathizes with every hard situation you encounter, he knows everything that hurts you, and he will always be close to comfort you with his healing words.
If your parents are divorced, you might still feel betrayed by one or both of your parents for leaving. Know that your heavenly Father is not going anywhere.
What are some times when you have strongly felt God’s presence?
P.S. – I am a little less enchanted with daddy long-legs after using Google images to find a picture for this post!!
For a little over a week, people from around the world have been united around their respective TV sets as they watch the 2012 Summer Olympics. We’ve cheered for our favorite competitors, felt their crushing disappointments, and shared in their joy as they come out victorious at the medal ceremonies. In a small way, we feel as though we have traveled alongside these national heroes on their journey to Gold.
But in reality, we only see a miniscule part of the journey that these men and women have traveled to have the opportunity to compete in the Olympic games. We see the culmination of years of intense training in these short two weeks. The winning Olympians have invested literally thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars into training for the games, occasionally even experiencing foreclosure or bankruptcy because of their choice to compete.
So why do they do it? Why spend your life pursuing something even though it means sacrificing so much? They do it because they want a Gold medal, and they are willing to train, spend, and focus in order to get it.
We can learn a lot from these extremely dedicated men and women. Jesus says in Luke 12:34 that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” What do you treasure? Probably not a Gold medal, but what is it for you? Good grades? Lots of “likes” on your Facebook status? Or do you treasure your relationship with Jesus above all things?
In a world where there are so many things vying for our attention, we have to make a special effort to keep Jesus as our treasure. Olympic athletes plan everything around their training schedule so that they can devote hours every day to getting better at their sport. We can learn from this in planning our time to best pursue our Treasure too.
Key #2: Make Jesus your treasure. What ideas do you have to do this practically? I’d love to hear!
The warm, muggy air outside my window did little to ease the heat inside my car. Oh well, I could stand the heat for the twenty-five minute drive. I turned up the CD a little louder and headed out of the parking lot towards home.
Ten minutes later I mechanically got into the lane that would turn into a ramp to the next road. My eyes automatically fixed on the truck in front of me. Suddenly, the brake lights on the truck came on and the truck came to almost a dead stop just 50 feet in front of me! I slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting the truck. It was as if I saw the vehicle approaching in slow motion. Fifty feet. Twenty feet. Finally my car came to a stop about 5 feet from the truck’s bumper. The cars behind me had managed to stop in time too.
As I made my way around the traffic jam and saw that the cause of the sudden stop was a vacant car sitting in the turn lane, the verse that I had been studying that morning came to mind, “The Lord lives, and blessed by my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation” (Psalm 18:46). I spoke the words aloud to express my thanks and praise to God who had just delivered me from a damaging car-crash.
This is the first post in a series about how to keep our thoughts trained on God. It’s a hard thing to do when so many other things are vying for attention in our lives! But this event taught me a valuable lesson on how to do it: memorize God’s word. The first thing that my mind jumped to in this situation was the reality of God’s deliverance because I had just been reading about that deliverance and purposefully memorizing Psalm 18:46. Just imagine what changes could take place in our lives if we took the time to implant key verses into our hearts!
So, Key #1: Memorizing scripture. What good ways have you found to do this?
All eyes were fixed on the man at the front of the room. Nobel Laureate John Mather, a respected scientist and NASA employee, was giving a lecture to the large crowd that had gathered to hear him speak. The room barely had enough space for the eager assemblage; several sets of people chose to sit on the floor because there was not enough space in the chairs. No one dared to make additional noise for fear that it would cause them to lose one of the precious words that came from the scientists’ mouth. Everyone knew: hearing this lecture was the most important thing they could be doing at the moment.
Enter: the skink. It started as a flicker at the corner of my eye. I turned, but didn’t notice anything strange near the group of people sitting by the glass doors. Soon I was lost in the speakers’ words.
Flash. I saw something again, and this time the girl next to me had also turned to look. A second later a little lizard had crawled into the room by coming under the threshold of the glass doors. Several people on the outer row of the audience were watching, amused, as the intruder scuttled along the base of the wall in search of a cool, damp place to settle down. The girls sitting against the wall were not quite as amused.
Then a second skink popped its head out from the doorframe to join its friend in looking for a break from the sun. People in the crowd continued to point and chuckle quietly as they noticed, one by one, the drama unfolding on the side of the room. The lizards had stolen the show.
Do you have lizards ruling in your life right now – things that seem so important that they distract you from hearing the Person whose words are the most vital part of your life? Ultimately God should be the star of the show in our lives. Psalm 104:34 says it this way, “May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.”
What do you spend your time thinking about? Maybe you are tempted to spend every waking moment analyzing and re-analyzing a problem if you have had a divorce or other tragedy happen recently. But no matter how many times you go over your problems, you won’t be able to solve them alone! Remember the One who should be on center stage.
Tell me, what do you do to keep your thoughts centered on God? I’d like to highlight some of your ideas in an upcoming blog series!