Funerals started yesterday for the young children that were victims in the Connecticut school shooting. Keep the families in your prayers.
We all have moments when we feel like we can’t go on anymore.
When we feel like evil is all around us, we need to keep our focus on God. He is bigger than all of it. If we focus on the things around us, we get the wrong perspective. Allow God to be the air you breath. Get your strength from Him.
Often times, when we have a crisis in our life, smaller crisis also come up against us causing us to feel overwhelmed. We wonder how we can take much more. Hang on and keep God in your life. He will be your source of whatever you need.
Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy; they didn’t know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“This is heaven” declared a small boy. “We’re spending Christmas at God’s house”.
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.
“then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe,
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!
“May this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!
“Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“Come now my children let me show you around.
“Excitement filled the space, some skipped, and some ran,
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“in the midst of this darkness,” I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”
Thank God for the peace that He provides when we are in situations out of our control. So often we try to solve our problems without God. It is always to our benefit to ask God as soon as we know there is a problem. There is even more benefit to asking Him at the start of everyday to guide you through what your day will bring. Too many times, we wait until our problem becomes such a burden that we can’t do much else than cry out to God. At these times we often wonder why we waited so long to ask for His power to work in our situation.
At times we may have a situation that there is absolutely nothing we can do anyway. It is just wonderful to be able to know that He can be where we cannot and He can do the things we cannot. It is wonderful to have the peace that He gives during those situations. Those living without Christ would be burdened by worry, frustration, anger, etc. instead of the peace that passes all understanding, a peace that the world can’t give.
Addicts don’t do anything for anyone else. Whatever they do has a selfish motive. What they do is not even good for themselves. They claim to love certain people but their actions don’t even reflect that. Whatever their addiction, it seems to have precedence over all other things. Their priorities are messed up.
The only addiction that reflects love is being addicted to Christ because He gives love to those that follow Him. When you want more of God, it is always a good thing. He gives a love that we cannot receive from any other. He gives a love that can even flow out onto the unlovable.
Many children today continue to live at home as adults. They either have never left or they return when troubles come upon them such as financial, divorce, etc.
We as parents would like to treat them as an adult but so often they live under our roof and continue to act like a child. They think we are to supply for them. They help themselves to stuff as if it is theirs. They don’t show respect for the things that belong to others in the home. They don’t respect the others in the home such as siblings and the fact that sharing and cooperation need to take place. They have no respect for the rules that have always been in place that they still choose to not follow. They still act like the brat that lives at home. They act and do things there that they wouldn’t do as a guest in someone else’s home.
Will they ever grow up? Somewhere we have failed to move them into adulthood by making life too easy as a child and not giving them responsibility and consequences. We tried so hard to protect them that we have even protected them from the consequences that would have been good for them.
Now they are considered adults because of their age but they have never really grasped the ability and responsibility level needed to act like an adult. Our parenting has made their growing up process to be delayed but there comes a time when we need to cut the strings to save our sanity. They are perfectly capable of making wise decisions but it will have to be them that choose to do that. Their quality of life will depend on what they choose. We are no longer responsible for their mistakes. It makes us sad because we can see how much better their life could be with some changes, but it is the choice they are making.
This scenario is much the same with our Heavenly Father. He wants things better for us but we continue to do things our way. We neglect to follow His rules. We insist that our consequences are the result of someone else. We look to blame someone else. We act like a spiritual brat. We want blessings and stuff given to us without having to be responsible to God and without being obedient to God. We want to continue in our rebellion. We are capable of making the right choice but we choose not to for some reason. God will not go against our will. He allows us to choose the life we want to live.
We can pray for our children and should continue to do that. We continue to love them no matter how much they step on our heart. God also continues to love us. God is also sad when we choose to live a life that is less than what He has for us. We cannot do anything that will cause Him to love us any less. He continues to call us even when we don’t want to hear Him. He will be there if we choose to call on Him.
Some of our attempts at parenting fail. We make mistakes. Our kids make mistakes. God is the only perfect parent. Hopefully we can ask God to forgive us of those mistakes and learn from them. Every child is different and our parenting strategies don’t always work on each child the same even when they are from the same family. Parents come to realize what they tried on their first child doesn’t work on the ones that came after. Each one brings a different parenting adventure. Sometimes the older child suffers because the parents have a lack of experience. The parents often don’t realize what is ahead. It seems the parents get them through the baby years and things seem to get easier, then we realize the teen years can be more demanding than those baby/toddler years. It is easier to protect them when they are small. As they grow and begin to take on the world we still try to protect our children from harm that they can come into contact with in the world. We want them to make decisions that will benefit them. When they go against our wishes, they often suffer consequences because they insist on doing what they want even if deep down they know it could harm them. When they feel judgment fall on them because they know they went against their parent’s wishes, the burden gets heavy.
God can lift that burden in the process of forgiveness. We have all sinned and sin causes a heaviness that can only be removed by seeking forgiveness from our Heavenly Father and from those we sinned against. We are not always forgiven by those that we sin against. We can still be sorry for our part and pray for them that they will someday come to forgive us. Those that don’t forgive also will not be forgiven. Read Mark 11:25. How many times do we forgive our children? We continue to forgive them because nothing they do will cause us to love them any less just as nothing we do will cause Our Father in Heaven to love us any less. He continues to forgive but He does ask that we come to Him and ask for forgiveness.
When we try to get our children to do what is right, we try to teach them what is right and true. When doing this we often cause them to feel judgment. That is not what we intend to do. We want to have a relationship and be able to share truth that helps the individuals and the relationship to grow. This can only happen when those involved can come to the terms that none of us are perfect and this life is a process of learning and forgiving. It is a life of relationships that can hinder or help, that can make life bitter or sweet.
God teaches us as much if not more from our parenting experiences as we ever learn as a child. As much grief as we feel sometimes as parents, it does not even compare to the grief we cause our Heavenly Father. He blesses those that honor their father and mother because we are to honor Him as our Heavenly Father. When we learn to honor our earthly mother and father, we are in the process of learning to honor our Heavenly Father. There is a promise that comes with the commandment to honor our mother and father. Read Deuteronomy 5:16. Once we are adults, this command still applies. Honor and obey are different and they take on a new meaning when we become adults. The important thing is our relationship with our Heavenly Father. When people have a right relationship with their Heavenly Father then other relationships with other people can prosper.
No matter where we fail or what we go through, God will not waste our experiences. God can use all that we go through for our betterment and His glory. We just need to trust in Him to do His work. Amen!
25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11:25 NIV
16 Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you in the land which the Lord your God gives you. Deuteronomy 5:16 AMP