Sometimes the things I see in my children's life that drive me crazy end up teaching me about my relationship with my heavenly father. Just this morning I had 3 incidences in my house in which I said out loud if people just listened in the first place they wouldn't be in these situations. Let me explain, see a certain child lost a shoe. I tell the children to keep their shoes in a common closet so they don't get lost, but this child tends to kick off his shoes wherever he happens to be. So he wanted to come to the store with me but he couldn't find his shoe and so he had to stay home, which made him annoyed with me for not waiting longer. Another child has been going through a lying/stealing phase. We have rules about both of these items that this child choose to ignore at the time. Now their is consequences and the child is very upset with me because of this. The third child has lost something that I have been clear for a long time to keep in a certain place, but because they choose to keep them some place else they have lost it and they are angry with me that I will not stop everything and look for it or buy them a new one. See if I were to go back in each of their lives in a crazy time machine and each were to simply follow what I told them, the first would have shoes and have had a good trip to the store, the second would be enjoying a beautiful summer day and be in good graces with her parents and siblings and the third would have no concerns other then what they want to do and would have not acted disrespectfully to others. In other words, when we do just exactly as we are told, life is much better. As I sat in the car on the way to the store stewing over the ironic fact that every time a child chooses to disobey me, they end up angry with me I began to think about myself. The times that I know I skirted the biblical way, or being honest totally disobeyed something I know is very clear about God's nature. When I used the its no big deal excuse with God, or the I am not perfect idea to justify growing farther from who God created me to be I denied the truth about who God is. Just like I know with my children, my Father knows with me. He hates sin not only because of the action but because of the fall out. Its not the moment of anger that does the most damage, its the feelings it leads too or its not the doing this one time that kills the soul, its the lingering thoughts and memories. God knows life is happier when we live in his image. When we live good, honest, humble lives not only is God honored and our testimony saved, but our lives are just calmer, more peaceful and more enjoyable. Now if I could just remember this post the next time we are running late because a child can only find one shoe.......
I have been following the news about the Yazidi's in the mountains of Iraq. Many are Christians who are being persecuted and killed. These people are stuck on the side of a mountain in sweltering heat with no water and no food, knowing going back down means certain death for them and their families. Most know that even if they convert to Islam they will be killed anyway. Women have been abducted and sold as slaves. This will literally be the hill that they are dying on. The irony that our Savior dies on a hill for these people and now in his name they will find the same fate. This will be a defining moment in history between the tragedies in Syria, Iraq, Israel, Gaza and Ukraine. This will be what the future generations read about in textbooks and think how did they allow this to happen, the same way I did when I read about the holocaust. I have read it and thought how did other countries go about their normal life while the Jews were in concentration camps? Now here I am in this generation going about cleaning, cooking, watching tv, taking the kids swimming and going about life while these brothers and sisters in Christ are desperately clinging to life on the side of a mountain for the name of the Savior we share. At church on Sunday as we sang the worship songs my mind drifted to the mothers on the mountains who are crying out the same name I sang. I thought about my hills vs her mountain. Yes God hears it all, but at that moment I saw the size of my hill in comparison and I prayed for her, I sang because she couldn't, my trust in Jesus and faith in my Savior grew because she is my living example of faith. If faith can put you on the side of a mountain clinging to life while under terrorist threats and you still claim your God, then do I have to wonder if his words are true? These people have shown the world that their God is bigger then their circumstance. They understand that to live for Christ is good, but to die for Christ is even better. Because they understand we are passing through, this is not eternal, this is temporary they are able to sit and wait. Someday they will come down from that mountain and we will hear about the Corrie Ten Boom of the Yazidi's who prayed with those losing hope, we will hear about the Brother Andrew's who risked their lives on the mountain to bring the Gospel. We will hear stories of how God worked a miracle and hear about the many who left this temporary home and are now with Jesus out of pain and fear, hearing our Savior say well done good and faithful servant. It has taught me to keep my eyes on whats eternal, it has shown me the ultimate faith in the face of persecution, it has given me a great appreciation for my freedoms and has shown me how better to pray for the world. What is your hill or your mountain, were you placed where you are in this time and place to show your faith boldly, to use your freedom to pray or give, to get the gospel to someone else, to carry another's burden, to ask for help
The other day I looked down at my hands and it made me think. One of the ways the rheumatoid arthritis has effected me has been the changes I can see in my hands and fingers, not tremendously noticeable unless I point it out, except that I can't wear my wedding rings until I get them re-sized. However as I looked at my hands I thought about all the things my hands have done, they have held my mother and fathers hand as I began life, they held the steering wheel as I learned how to drive, held the books as I stepped on campus for the first time, held the keys as we moved into our new home, they hugged someone who was lonely, held the hand of someone dying, gently touched touched the faces of my newborn babies, fed those who were too young to sick to feed themselves, carried my adopted children home, wiped the tears of my kids when they were hurting, embraced my husband, graded the papers my children completed, folded the laundry and cooked the meals that keep the house moving, turned the pages of my Bible and folded them in prayer.
I don't know what the future holds and how my hands will hold up....but I pray I will use them to fix the veils on my daughters wedding days, use them to fix the tie on my sons', hold a grandchild or 12, clap at my children's graduations, wipe the tears as they move to their own homes. So many days to embrace! I challenge you especially on a long hard day when you feel like you haven't made much of a difference in life or when you feel like you are just "fillintheblank" and nothing special, take a look at your hands, what have your hands already accomplished, what more awaits them.