Archives for April 2017

The Deserted Feeling

 

The Deserted Feeling by Lynn Autry

 

Do you feel deserted sometimes? Paul did. Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:15, “You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.” Paul felt deserted. Paul was suffering for the cause of Christ. He had worked hard and now he felt deserted. Desertion is a feeling we have as parents sometimes. For whatever reason or excuse, relationships sometimes become distant with one or more of our children. We may try to be close but the other person in the relationship is not willing to make the effort to improve the relationship. As a parent, we can feel abandoned by an adult child. The “after all I have done for you” pity party creeps in.

When this happens, remember that everyone has not deserted you. Paul had not been deserted by everyone. He later sends greetings to friends in the same region. Most importantly, God has not deserted you. Whatever happens good or bad with our family, God is always there to hold your hand and comfort you. He has not abandoned or deserted you. In Psalms 73: 23, God says, “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.” How awesome is that? Whatever happens with our children and family, God is always there. If your children call you or not. God is always with you. If your children see you are not, God is always there. If your children acknowledge you on Mother’s Day, God is always there. You get picture. When you feel deserted, God is always there. You are not deserted, feel his closeness today with the other people in your life.

When this happens, remember that everyone has not deserted you. Paul had not been deserted by everyone. He later sends greetings to friends in the same region. Most importantly, God has not deserted you. Whatever happens good or bad with our family, God is always there to hold your hand and comfort you. He has not abandoned or deserted you. In Psalms 73: 23, God says, “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.” How awesome is that? Whatever happens with our children and family, God is always there. If your children call you or not. God is always with you. If your children see you are not, God is always there. If your children acknowledge you on Mother’s Day, God is always there. You get picture. When you feel deserted, God is always there. You are not deserted, feel his closeness today with the other people in your life.

 

God will not abandon

Stuck in the Middle by Lynn Autry

 

stuck in the middle

 

 

 

Stuck in the Middle

Who likes being in the middle? Middle children complain about being in the middle. We definitely do not want to be in the middle of arguments or fights. We tend to like the beginnings and endings. We tend to want to rush through the middle of a good book to get to the end.

In the story of Mary and Martha in John 11, these two women found themselves stuck in the middle. They started their day with just a sick brother as they carried out their day. They had the normal cooking, cleaning, washing and caring for a sick brother. When Lazarus became progressively worst, it was time to call for Jesus. He did make house calls. Jesus made the decision to wait and then Lazarus died. These women found themselves struck in the middle. Their day had began like a normal day with their brother and now he was dead. Jesus had not came to change their circumstances. They were in the middle.

We have relationships that seem to start out great and then one day bam. The relationship will seemingly take a turn for the worst. Something will happen or not happen to make the relationship stall out. We find ourselves stuck in the middle. The middle is when doubts pour in and we want to hear a word from God to carry on. The middle is when a relationship with a daughter-in-law is put on hold. The middle is when someone close quits talking and you don’t know why. The middle is when a loved one is told she has cancer or a child rebels against God.  Mary and Martha did not know anything to do but continue through their day and wait.  When we are in the middle of relationships that have stalled out, we have to continue our normal activity and wait.

In John 11:14-15, “Then Jesus became explicit: “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.”(The Message) The relationship now is dead but keep looking around the corner. Christ is going to give you new grounds for believing while you are in the middle. It is easy to stall out emotionally in the middle. Thomas told Jesus for them to  go and die with him. When relationships look bleak, it is easy to throw in the towel and quit. As Thomas said, “we might as well die with him.” It is easy to want to just quit and let the relationship die. Jesus says in the middle is when I give you new belief. How awesome is that. Mary and Martha were in the middle but Jesus was going to give them new belief.

In the midst of this new belief that is right pass the middle, Jesus intends to show us who He is. Jesus told Martha, “I am, the resurrection and the life. The middle is not just about ending or pain. It is about believing in Jesus and looking to him for what He is going to teach us. Mary and Martha had already decided to believe in Jesus so in the middle of their pain and death, they could wait on their belief that Jesus was coming. Jesus was coming to give them the assurance that if they believed in Him they would live and have eternal life. He was coming to show them the glory of God. He was coming  for their faith to flourish. Jesus comes to us in the middle to give us life and belief in the middle.

Instead of looking at the middle negatively, which is easy to do. Look for the new ground for believing that God is giving you. Look for who He is and watch the glory unfold in your life. Being stuck in the middle is not all bad. There is a ending that you do not want to miss. There will be a day with no more middles, pain and tears. God has the perfect ending to every middle we have. Just hang in there through the middle, there is more believing for you.

Yes, No or Maybe

 

Yes-No-Maybe

 

Yes, No, Maybe. I heard a direct sales person say that in sales, we have people that says yes, no and maybe. He said the “maybes” expend so much energy from us. We work so hard at trying to turn the maybes into yes. I think we become exhausted trying to turn our maybes into yes. No, I am not a good mother-in-law today. No, you are not a good mother-in-law. Yes, I am a good mother-in-law today. Yes, you are a good mother-in-law. Maybe, I am a good mother-in-law today. Maybe, you are a good mother-in-law. We spend so much energy trying to turn our maybes into yes. We want to please and have a good relationship with our daughter-in-law and son-in-law.

We need to realize that on every day left to ourselves we are not going to succeed in this role of mother-in-law. We will make mistakes. Are they mistakes? I don’t think it matters. Some will be and some will not be. Some will even be sin. If the other person in the relationships believes them to be mistakes. They are in their eyes. So no, we are not a good mother-in-law.

How do we move from a no to a yes? Through God’s grace.  God makes us good. He takes our sins and makes them white as snow. He takes our no and makes it into a yes. He moves us from rags to cleanliness. You see all the goodness that is in us is all because of Him. The only way I am ever a good mother-in-law is just because of Him. I can stay a no. I can stay defeated or try to be exhausted in the middle with a maybe or I can realize that He turns me into a good mother-in-law.

I have been the mother-in-law that went through the exhaustion of “Am I good mother-in-law today or am I a bad mother-in-law today?”. Many days I have wondered how to turn my No into a maybe or even a Yes for the day. When we realize that whatever role we have on our shoulders, God turns us into good. When He sees us as good, then that is what really matters.  When we know that God has taken us and washed us and made us acceptable to Him then that is a Yes. Instead of being exhausted over trying to make me a maybe or a yes in the eyes of in-laws, I will take knowing that God has made be a Yes, I am good in His eyes. He has washed me, forgiven me, cleaned me up and made me a Yes.

 

Isaiah 1 18