Good day Friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
Last weekend we surprised my Mother-in-law with a surprise gathering for her 75th Birthday. It was an intimate gathering with having her husband and two children – my husband and his sister, their spouses, and those of their children that could make it, as well as Mom’s two siblings and their spouses. There were only a total 16 of us. Yes, we were few in number, as parties go, but boy was it special.
Over this past weekend, I experienced family members doing things and using their abilities to show their love to this very special woman who wears many names: Sis, Mom, Grammie, Gi-Gi, and I’m sure the list goes on and on. This family, like any other, is no extraordinary family. We all work hard or enjoy retirement, live with aches and pains, have difficult times and disagreements. We are just the average Joe family, however, this past weekend I saw a kingdom that was rich with love, joy, and care. No where on earth can a display of pure joy and celebration be as strong as with one’s ‘family’.
This unit of people called ‘family’ is so uniquely tied together with its genealogical history, shared experiences of life’s highs and lows, and personal sacrifices for the others. I believe, one’s family is the set of closest human relationships that we can have that depict God’s relationship with us, in particular, that of our parents.
Let’s top up our coffees and I’ll start sharing my thoughts…
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.Matthew 7:11-12
Oh how parents love their children; they rejoice with them and their accomplishments, they cry with them when they cry, they cry for them when they endure difficult times, and they desire to shower them with blessings. There is no greater love that someone can experience than that of a parent. There is the countless learning opportunities parents take to teach their children to be good citizens, to get a long with and treat well their siblings and others. Then there is the display of unconditional love that a parent gives with every stupid, unthoughtful, humanly innate sinful act of selfish disobedience that children commit, and although rightfully given consequences, they continue to be loved and supported. Finally, there is tough love; those times when parents stand back and watch their child experience something they desire, but where they will experience pain and/or disappointment, in order that a lesson is learned. Tough love is also those times when a parent must discipline and stand firm for their child’s own good.
Have you ever thought about it? As a parent, have you ever thought about the depth of sacrifice you have endured for your child? Have you calculated the countless time, money and emotional sacrifice that you have spent on behalf of your child? No, because it doesn’t matter. As parents, we do what needs to be done. We love unconditionally our children.
Then again, have you ever thought about how much joy you feel when your child accomplishes something, or when they are simply happy. When their life is blessed, our life is blessed. Yet, conversely, when they endure pain and tough times, our hearts are burdened as if it is our own pain. I believe, there is no other relationship where the depth of this emotional transference is as deep as a parent with their child.
Finally, have you ever thought about how much it hurts when your child doesn’t come to visit you, or you don’t get phone calls, or when they can’t talk when you do call? It hurts. It hurts a lot!
There is no greater love among humans than that of a parent for their child. In the same way, our heavenly Father loves us, yet a cajillion times deeper and 100% perfectly. Even in our own sinfulness and limitations, we bless, train, care for and love our children, and we desire to share in their lives and their love. So, how much more does God do for you and desire from you, his child?
Now, let’s go over the Have you ever thought about it points by making some personal substitutions:
Have you ever thought about:
- the depth of sacrifice God has endured for me, insert your name?
- the countless time, money and emotional sacrifice that God has extended on my behalf?
- how much joy God feels when I accomplish something, or when I am simply happy. When my life is blessed, God is blessed. Yet, conversely, when I endure pain and tough times, God’s heart is burdened as if it is his own pain.
- how much it hurts God when I don’t come to visit him (in worship), or He doesn’t get calls from me (prayers), or when I can’t talk when he does call (knockings on my heart by the Holy Spirit)? It hurts. It hurts a lot!
God desires his children – you and me- to seek him, to acknowledge him as the giver of blessings, to share our ups and your downs of life, to learn of him through his Word, and to join him and his other children in worship, as one enjoys a family gathering. He died to redeem you from an everlasting separation from him, and he wants you to hold fast to the reality that Christ’s sacrifice has given you a heavenly home.
Only in the love of a parent can we come close to experiencing the love that God has for us, and it is just a drop in the ocean of the depth of love God has for each of us- for you and me. Thanks be to God for parents!
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank-you for my parents. Thank-you for their love, support and (add your own personal details)…. Help me to always remember and to be grateful for all they did/do for me. Help me to take the time to show them my love and appreciation. Thank-you for being my heavenly parent; for loving and blessing me, guiding and watching over me. Thank-you for redeeming me from an eternity in hell, that my sins would have condemned me to, if it wasn’t for the sacrifice of Jesus. Thank-you for making me your child! Help be to always remember and be grateful. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!
Reflection/Action: Contact your parents sometime this week just to tell them you love them and to thank them for all they have done/ are doing for you. If your parents have passed on, or if your parent(s) were not able to give you the love and support you so desired as you were growing up, know that God loves you now and unconditionally. Go to God, lay your grief and depth of sadness and pain at being denied the personal love of a parent and let God heal you. Let him fill your life with all he has for you in Christ’s redemption. Then forgive your parent. Forgive them as a fellow sinner who had/has struggles and burdens of their own that enveloped them and kept them from being whom they needed to be for you. Finally, if you are the child that is caught up in life that keeps you from personally acknowledging your love and care for your parents, first turn to your heavenly father. Seek him and a change of heart. Then, do one thing – phone, text, email, visit, etc.- to show your love and gratitude for all your parents did for you growing up, and be their friend.