Thanksgiving, being a time to remember things we appreciate, I am so grateful for God's word - for the encouragement, correction, direction, glimpse of the future, but always the comfort that it is.
"Do not fear the reproach of menFamily, on the other hand, can be a real house of horrors. I know I've had it easy, compared to some, still after the 7 page rant I got the other day from my sister, Barbara, who has managed to totally turn my parents against the rest of their family, feeding them an ongoing pack of lies and negative, fossilized, venomous reptile poop, day in and day out, it's difficult to know exactly how to handle the situation. What can you do? I just ask God for direction, one day at a time. The letter has been consigned to the burnable rubbish (some of us still do that out in the country) where it belongs. What a lot of anger, jealousy and resentment, hoarded up over the years, has been revealed. Whew! Sigh .... a part of me wants to answer every stupid remark and set her properly straight, but am restraining myself. Yes, I've done things in the past, not always the best or right even. But, let's all move on. Get over it.
or be terrified by their insults.
For the moth will eat them up like a garment;
the worm will devour them like wool.
...I, even I, am he who comforts you." Isaiah 51:7-8a & 12a
All of this brought to mind the verse in Micah,
"You will again have compassion on us;I just had to drive down to the cliffs and take a few shots of the ocean.
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the
depths of the sea." Micah 7:19
We're born into an earthly family and have no choice in the matter - that's one birth, the physical. Being born again gives us the pleasure and opportunity of an entirely new spiritual family, though again, no choice on who makes up membership (we do have a choice regarding who we hang out with). Spouse and children should, hopefully, be a part of this new family.
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh." Genesis 2:24This leaving has also the sense of growing up and getting past poor upbringing and any bad training or habits. As Christians we are supposedly maturing, renewed and reborn, putting aside the past as new creations in Christ.
Jesus had a few surprising things to say regarding family, and I am definitely going to take those words to heart:
"Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." Matthew 12:48-50
"Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." Matthew 8:21-22
"And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven." Matthew 23:9On the other hand, those who lie and refuse the truth were told:
"You belong to your father, the devil..." John 8:44We shouldn't be too surprised about this division along spiritual lines, as he warned us of it.
And, this morning I was reading in Isaiah, something that directs me to keep my mouth (and pen) shut, with regard to answering her lies and accusations:
"He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;Jesus is always a good example. On a positive note, I am thankful for the true family I have, both blood and spirit relations, those who are following Jesus, being understanding and forgiving; not always perfect, but working on it and growing.
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth." Isaiah 53:7