by Debby Craig
This Week's Verse: Ephesians 6:2, 3, “Honor your father and mother, that it will go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth.” (NIV)
Since I have lost both of my parents, the Holiday season has not been the same for me. I just miss being "somebody's little girl" at Christmas time. During one of our Worship services this Christmas season, I noticed that paper about the poinsettia tree, so I wrote down my mom and dad's names, popped the $20.00 in the envelope, and dropped it in the plate, thinking to myself, “There, that's all you can do, feel better now, Debby.” But the Lord had a different idea than mine for making me “feel better.”
I walked into church that Sunday after Christmas and made my way over to the tower of poinsettias to read the memorial plaque at the base. As I read Mom and Dad's names, I instantly received this little glimpse of heaven. There was our Lord who, maybe for the first time, had called my mom and dad to His side as a couple and said, “Look there – see how she honored you today in My place for everyone to see.”
I loved that moment!! That was the best present ever. He understood my heartache. Did this instant vision come from God? Well, I must say I do have a vivid imagination when it comes to the Lord and heaven and all that, but this time I am giving the Lord all of the credit for surprising me with that little tidbit from Heaven and what followed this event.
I went home feeling different about Christmas for the first time since Dad's death but I kept remembering those words Our Lord spoke, “See how she honored you today.”
But did I honor them when they were here with me or even with my words after their death? Not always. Conviction set in and I started to ask the Lord for forgiveness. I was mad at my mom all of my adult life for something she really couldn’t help and it showed in the way I spoke of her. My words were not honorable and sweet at all.
A little over a year after Mom's death my dad re-married. His new wife was very hard to get to know. Totally opposite of my mom, I thought to myself. Our new step-mom didn't seem to care or want to get to know us at all. Our relationship with Dad was different and strained from that point on. I was angry at both of them for that and it was a "justified" anger since I had a few siblings who agreed with me. My lifelong comments about that whole ordeal were definitely not honoring to my earthly father or my Heavenly Father.
Needless to say, I felt better after asking for His forgiveness and it was so typical of Our Lord to give me that gift and then attach a life lesson at the same time. This particular lesson was a hard one, however, even though my heart usually feels so much better when He has been tugging and yanking on it. Afterwards, I pondered this thought: What would my relationship have been like with mom and dad if I had turned that anger and bitterness over to the Lord a lot sooner?
Dear Heavenly Father, Search me O God, you know my heart: See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Thank you Father for giving me back the sweet memories of my youth.
Anger and bitterness eat away at the person God created us to be. Ask Him to show you if there is a problem in the way you speak or feel about your earthly parents (or anyone for that matter). If we justify our anger or bitterness about our past we are leaving God out of our lives. Without a pure heart we cannot carry out the ministry He has planned for us in a way that honors Him.
Ephesians 4:31, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger.” (NIV)
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”(NIV)