Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Little Houses of Horrors

... into the depths of the sea
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 men
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
Family, 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.

All of this brought to mind the verse in Micah,
"You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the
depths of the sea." Micah 7:19
I just had to drive down to the cliffs and take a few shots of the ocean.

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 2:24
This 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 23:9
On the other hand, those who lie and refuse the truth were told:
"You belong to your father, the devil..." John 8:44
We 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;
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
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.


  1. I hate to sound zen but, if we decide that the problem is not actually a problem then it does not exist.
    We exist, and we pray. We continue to do everything we can do, to the best of our ability, and God does the rest.
    Now if I could only put this into practice....

    I have been able to put my small problems into perspective at times,but it is a daily battle.
    I just saw a You Tube interview with a man who has no arms or legs. He travels around preaching about how good God is, and encouraging others.

  2. Zen or not, that guy has a situation and he's a hugely fantastic example of using what hand you're dealt to good effect.