“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Thursday, April 2, 2009

An Agonizing Word

"...so that it will give grace
to those who hear."
Ephesians 4:29b NASB

Today should be the 64th birthday of someone who should have loved me like a daughter. Instead, he was more interested in fulfilling his own needs then my own.

I would have to say that I have celebrated his death over the last 11 years more so than I ever celebrated his birth. Counting it as a day that I thought would be the completion of a season in my life that could never again be visited.

I had been counseled to try to find something positive about the man. And for the longest time, all I could remember is that he taught me how to make scrambled eggs with cheese.

But today, I ponder on the fact of whether I feel like celebrating his birth. When I look at the things in my life that have brought me closest to the Lord... they have been the most painful times. Times when all I could do was trust in the Lord and remember His promise to be

"a father to the fatherless..."
Psalm 68:5a NIV

And so, if I truly admit to the one thing that has brought me the most pain... and yet, the most dependence on my God... it would be the life (and choices) of this man.

Do I dare celebrate his birth? I have to admit, sisters... this is the agonizing one. And I do not write these words flippantly. Not at all.

Because there are some of you who are still in the midst... and the battle... of someone else's injurious choices. You do not have the benefit of the passing of 11 years like I do.

And my encouragement to you, is that in all of this... the good and the bad... we can make our own choices. Choices that bring life and not death. Choices to rely upon God and His promises. Choices that are in our own control.

Today, I choose to believe that

...God intended it for good
to accomplish what is now being done,
the saving of many lives.
Genesis 50:20b NIV

And His words found in Jeremiah...

I'll show up and take care of you
as I promised and bring you back home.
I know what I'm doing.
I have it all planned out
—plans to take care of you,
not abandon you,
plans to give you the future
you hope for.
"When you call on me,
when you come and pray to me,
I'll listen.
When you come looking for me,
you'll find me.
"Yes, when you get serious about finding me
and want it more than anything else,
I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." God's Decree.
"I'll turn things around for you.
I'll bring you back
from all the countries into which I drove you"
God's Decree—
"bring you home to the place from which
I sent you off into exile.
You can count on it.
Jeremiah 29:10b-14 The Message

God has promised... He will bring you out of the places of exile. You can count on it!


Amy said...

Wonderful post, thanks for sharing. It touched me deeply. I love you, sisterchick Shari!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

That's a rare witness, friend. Thank you for allowing me a peek into your past and your pain. But for the grace of God, you wouldn't have been able to write this. How thankful I am for you willingness to see our Heavenly Father apart from your earthly father. So often, we get stuck there...thinking that the two are the same. You've made the transforming leap to break out of that box, and God is faithful to continue to show the Truth of who he is, even amidst the pain of remembrance.

You are a light to me, friend. Thanks for letting it shine.


journey of faith said...

Such a wonderful testimony that you have!! I love the verses you posted, so much hope and so faithful a promise... the Lord is so good to us, even in the midst of trials and tribulations! Hugs to you sister ;D

vintage at heart said...

I can sure relate to this!!! From my own perspective and that of my two oldest children. God does works in mysterious/intentional ways to make us strong through lifes journey and the weakness of others. We can always count on HIS strength and guidance!
Thanks for reminding me!

Deborah said...

You are an overcomer!

Thank you for sharing this, I know it was hard....you know, I typed "heard" instead of hard....and I think I typed it right the first time...I know it was heard!

bp said...

I just don't even know what to say. I'm thankful God can use the things you've learned through your pain to help others.

Have a good weekend my friend.

just lisa said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. May God continue to bless you and keep you in his grace as you are a blessing to others!

Jeremiah 10 - just what I needed. I have been so down these last two days which really is so not like me. Been spending some time praying on my knees. Love visiting your blog!

gideonmommasita said...

My father is stil alive and every year it is a struggle to find a card, one year I found one that said something about how God shaped me through my father and of that I can be thankful....though I was telling my husband today that there is still so little little respect for that man....what a blessing that God can restore the years that the locusts have eaten.