Tuesday, February 9, 2016
It was 7th grade and my younger sister was struggling to care about school. She was smart and for the most part the teachers were helpful in trying to encourage her to full fill her potential but she just didn't care. We had changed schools so many times that making new friends and adjusting should have been a norm for us but instead it became more and more difficult. I am sure this played a part of her decision not to put forth effort. She was in the midst of trying to determine where she belonged and her stubborn nature was fighting with all it had. But my parents wouldn't settle for that. So my dad did the only thing he knew to do.....go to school with her.
Psalms 23:3-4 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his names sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.
I know your thinking what?? Go with her. First I must tell you my dad was totally blind. Work did not come easy for him, so at the time he was at home most days. This certainly allowed him the opportunity to make this choice. Because he was blind this required my sister to lead him everywhere she went. So not only was my dad going to go to school with her but he was going to be holding on to her arm.
The thought of this for my sister was embarrassing but my dad knew that for her to push past the obstacles and for her to fulfill her potential this required desperate measures. He knew that to my sister this seemed as punishment for the choices she was making but also knew it was needed and the lesson would be worth it in the end. So every day my sister arrived at school with my dad on her arm. He walked to her locker with her, sat beside her in every class and took notes. He even attended lunch most days with her. My sister knew that if this was going to ever stop she had to focus and pay attention and realize that this was for her good. She would have to let go of her stubbornness and surrender to what she knew she should be putting forth in school.
Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God , who loved me and gave himself for me."
Looking back now and talking about this makes much more sense than when she was right in the middle of it. To her it was the end of her life...you know in junior high everything is the end of your life. My sister realized that she needed to surrender and realize dad really did know best. She had dreaded it ,yet it pushed her and it embarrassed her ,yet to the other kids my dad was "cool".
There was never talk of how crazy my dad was or talk of how ridiculous my sister looked....no they saw it in a different way. They saw my dad as caring, loving, faithful...willing to sacrifice for what was best. Even today when talking to kids we went to school with this conversation comes up. It impacted them....they saw past the struggle and saw the love of a father that ran deep. A love that ultimately changed the life of his daughter.
That is much like our heavenly Father ! The love that runs deeper and wider than any ocean. There are no limits put on the things we will go through in life. The Father allows these things in our lives to bring us to the end of ourselves. He doesn't desire just for us to surrender our heart to him and that be the end of it. He wants us to realize the potential we have. We are holy and righteous because of Jesus! He wants to use us in every place we live and work, in every situation we walk through, in every moment of brokenness. Sometimes for us ...especially the stubborn ones....it means taking us through deep, rushing waters. It means allowing us to get to a point that our load seems heavy and we are weary and have nothing left. Our words are few and our tears are many but our hearts cry, "Rescue me , O Savior!"
I have been to that point in my life more than once. Where words do not come, where the pain is deep, where the loneliness is overwhelming, and yet the Father knows! The spirit searches my heart, he gathers my pain and he takes it to the Father. Pleading for me to find comfort, praying for things I did not have the courage to pray. All for His glory!
Romans 8: 26-28 "Meanwhile , the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. he does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless signs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives ...for God is worked into something good."
We usually are at that place and see nothing but the weight of what we are carrying and don't see where that weight should lead us to .....the throne room of God. How long do we stay there? When will it be over? When will he take this from me? We become wrapped up in asking these questions consumed with what we think the outcome should be. When we should just be content to lay at the feet of our Father....until strength comes. Until we recognize the will of the Father and it becomes our will. When we allow Gods glory to shine in and through us.
Why do we always want what is easy? The fire for Shadrach, Meshach and Abedego wasn't easy but it produced great faith not just for them but for the people outside the fire. The request to take Abraham son, Isaac, to sacrifice wasn't easy but it showed deep trust and obedience to God and because of that He fulfilled his promise and through his son Isaac's lineage our Messiah came. For Paul to carry the gospel wasn't easy but he looked up , not around him and he knew who he served and he was content in whatever the circumstance he found himself because he had Jesus (Philippians 4:11-13). The list goes on for sure but above every other story.....the cross wasn't easy but it was enough.
It was enough for:
...all....no matter the sin, no matter how old the age, no matter what color the skin, Jesus was enough. Its more than a symbol. It was an act of love that is far greater than we can understand.
His love for you is greater than the circumstances you are in....His love walks you through them and draws you to Him....look up .....so that you can say I am content in this circumstance because I have Jesus and this WILL be for His glory alone!!
Others see us....they see what we are going through. There is no need to advertise it , there is no need to draw attention to it...because unfortunately when we do we are usually doing it for our glory and not for His. Instead look up! See your Father shining down on you! Know He is walking beside you. Know that this is for your good. Know that there is a reason. He doesn't stop loving you just because its hard, He allows the hard because we learn to love Him more.
His light shines brighter in darkness! Because light is needed there! Realize that even as out of control as this may seem, He is still in control.
John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.