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Thoughts on Faith, Gifts and Parenting


Faith

Why does having faith seem so hard? Why do we struggle to trust an omnipotent God? Hebrews 11: 1 describes “faith” as Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Sometimes, I imagine faith as a wall that I can use to keep negativity in my life out on the other side. But, really, faith is a foundation. Whether we lie on it looking up at the stars imagining all the “what ifs”, or build on the solid foundation God has provided, our faith is always there. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. Sometimes it seems like it has vanished but God takes the smallest faith and builds on it. So, while we struggle, that promised foundation is there, lifting us up, providing a solid start to meeting our needs. There may be times when it seems like we’re floundering but that foundation is there. We can move through life knowing that it is not our faith that is the issue but, instead, is about God’s love.

2 Corinthians 12:10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

In the meantime . . .

We all have times when we feel discouraged. We have times when we don’t understand – or see – how God is working in our lives. As hard as it is, these are the times we must turn to God, placing our trust in Him. While we grow weary, God stays strong. When our faith wavers, God’s faithfulness never ends. When we want to give up, God’s eternal power stands firm. God offers us hope and healing and we can trust God who’s promises are eternal. So, as we wait on God’s action in our lives, we can lean back in the everlasting arms, letting go of our angst, letting go of our doubts, letting go of our pain and struggles. We can trust that in the midst of the marathon we call life, God is with us, empowering us, strengthening us and loving us all the while.

Isaiah 40:28-31 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

The Perfect Gift

Have you ever received the perfect gift? You wanted it. You needed it. It was made for you so it was the perfect fit. How did you respond? Did you say, “thank you”? Did you keep the gift a secret or did you share it with others? Now, what if your perfect gift could be given to all your friends, family and even strangers on the street. What would you do then? Each of us have been given this “perfect gift”. Some of us may not see it that way. Some of those presents seem to get all wrapped up in conditions and all types of extra stuff until the receiver of the gift doesn’t want it. Some of those gifts wind up in the hands of people who don’t want to share. And some gifts sit there, unopened.

We have all been given the gift of Christ. We have a perfect Father who loves us, a perfect sacrifice who saves us, and a Holy Spirit who guides us. Do you have your perfect gift? Do you want to share your gift with others? Hold on to the excitement you felt when you first opened it! ENJOY your gift. Share it with others. It is a never-ending gift. It is a jump up, squeal, shout from the rooftops “THANK YOU!’ gift. Hang on to it. Don’t hide it. Don’t try to give it to one person but refuse to give it to another. The gift is for everyone. It does not expire. It does not lose its energy over time. On the contrary, every gift that is shared, passes on to others exponentially. Rejoice in the Lord whose generosity knows no limitations!

2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

God As Parent

I was talking to a friend and she mentioned her struggle with her teen-aged daughter. The daughter was doing typical stuff: wearing inappropriate clothing, talking back, not wanting her mom to tell her what to do and even cutting her mom out of some important events. I tried to encourage my friend, sharing both my experience with my mother and my daughter’s relationship with me when she was younger. I told my friend this was a singular point in her life. It didn’t define the relationship she has with her daughter and it doesn’t mean her daughter’s rejection of her is permanent. As I talked to her, all I could think was, “this is how God deals with us”. As I tried to help her realize things can get better, I found myself seeing God in the parent’s role over all us children. There are some children, no matter how hard we try, who refuse to be one of God’s children, but that defines their actions not God’s. God is the parent patiently waiting for their child to grow up, to realize all that has been done for them, all the love that has been shown them, and that caring will never expire. No matter how many years it takes, no matter how many missed opportunities occur, God is there, waiting for us, loving us, supporting us, our true heavenly Father.

Ephesians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”


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