Friday, January 25, 2008


With a heavy heart I came seeking today, after a sleepless night -- and my restlessness was not due to late-night espresso drinking, but to a question of family dynamics that I turned over and over in my mind. How can our sibling relationships be so fragile? How does poor communication and a lack of planning turn into all-out war? It seems we walk through a minefield, not knowing what will set off a sudden blast!

As you well know is my everyday habit, I came seeking in God's word for wisdom and encouragement. I didn't have to get far in my daily reading to receive reassurance. The prophet speaks of Jesus when he proclaims:

. . . every boot of the tramping warrior in battle . . .
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
(from Isaiah 9:5)

What Isaiah is saying is that the soldier's boots, and the spoils of war, will be needless, useless, meaningless, and purposeless under the reign of Christ. There will simply be no war - we won't even be able to relate to the concept of strife! The passage continues:

. . . the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,
. . . Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government
and of peace there will be no end.
(from Isaiah 9:6-7)

I am not called to be content to sit and watch a family misunderstanding continue. I believe what it says above, that "the government is upon HIS shoulders." The Lord Jesus is able to govern in my life and in this family. I throw the managing of relationships on his broad and capable shoulders, for he is able to make peace abound when I trust him.

My New Testament section of reading today includes a timely reminder that division not to be considered "status quot," but should be recognized as what it is: the work of the enemy. I am not called to sit back and let misunderstandings and divisions continue in this family. Here are the words of Jesus quoted by Mark:

If a kingdom is divided against itself,
that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
(Mark 3:24-25)

How shall misunderstanding be cleared up? How shall the situation be rectified? How will this family ever learn to get along? I am not really responsible to come up with answers for all those questions, but I am called to trust the Governor, for indeed the government (the decision-making process) belongs to the Lord Jesus. My job is to place this whole mess in his hands, and to know that he is mighty, and that he is able to make sense of it all. He can make it turn out all right.

So I trust the Lord to resolve not only this one little misunderstanding, but to mightily bless this family in ways I haven't even dreamed of or imagined. Lord help me to be willing to take it one step at a time. Help me to trust the Governor, and to be patient, allowing him to put everything and everyone in our proper places and relationships. Glory to God. Amen.

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