You let your mouth loose in evil And your tongue frames deceit. “You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother’s son. “These things you have done and I kept silence. Psalm 50:19-21
Nothing stirs up our flesh like family rivalry. The personality and gifts of one child can be celebrated more than the uniqueness of another child. Or, a mother favors one while the father favors another. From birth, affections and privileges can be divided. It would appear that harmony among children is often doomed from the start.
Siblings can spend their lives at odds. The tension is never resolved. Family inheritances only add to further alienate relationships. Even in old age, the stuff of youth is rehearsed. A bystander in their thirties marvels that brothers and sisters in their seventies are still arguing. Not until they get much older will they understand that childhood offenses seem like yesterday. A brother or sister can be despised all the way to their deathbed because of something that was done or said during their teen years. Because our past replays vividly on the jumbo screen of our heart, the wounds stay fresh.
Love, respect, favor, and wealth? How can life-long prejudices dissolve? Someone new must arrive on the scene to offer something that is greater in value than what we lost. Someone has ~ and His name is Jesus. Healing for severely fractured families is possible but only as they come together to love and worship Jesus. As each one’s appetite is transformed by beholding the beauty and glory of Christ, the stuff that comprised their arguments seems miniscule. Every family member comes to realize that what they had been fighting over is a trinket compared to the gifts Jesus freely offers. And, He is no respecter of persons.
Perhaps I have a life-long angst regarding other members of my family. All I have to do is think about that person and my insides are churning. Being loved by Jesus and becoming emotionally engaged with my spiritual birthright melts away resentment. What I seek, I already have in Christ. It may be hope deferred but it is real and it is mine. If it doesn’t seem like enough to my heart, I must ask God to open my heart to incomparable gift of Him! Is He not powerful enough to transform my affections?
Open my spiritual eyes to see the value of You and everything You long to give. Help me re-orient my soul so that my hands are clutching You instead of things that perish. In Jesus name, Amen
Journal Question: What memory from childhood still haunts you? What is so unfair that the hurt it generates eats away at your flesh like a cancer? What are you trying to extract from another family member that you could abandon today for what Jesus offers? Today can be the day you turn a page in your history. How badly do you want freedom?
One thought on “When Jesus Doesn’t Feel Like Enough”
I had a wonderful childhood. Kids are flexible that way. We were raised in a culture that determined certain outcomes but I do not see how this is in any way abnormal. My only regret is that my sister was born when I was so old, already 11-12 years when she was born, so I was more like her very young mother. This led to a sense of abandonment in her when I left to marry and moved to another region. My older brothers were boys, so there was no comparison regarding importance, competition, etc. My mother and I were dedicated to seeing the needs of the ‘men’ in the family as a part of our culture. We had a secret sisterhood where we both ‘knew’ they were simply incompetent without us.
I became a reborn Christian somewhere around the age of accountability and am the only devout Christian in my immediate family. This is not to say that everyone else in my entire line is not a good person. Our family has a massive amount of great, good people. I hope that although I have very little exposure to them anymore that I can somehow and someday be somewhat of a good example as being Christ-like. I love my family and was raised in a very close-knit situation. We all live in different states now but we still have great love for each other. Today I am an independent woman who knows herself and enjoys being who she is. I speak up for what I believe is right and have taken some people by surprise. This is not to say that what is right is always my ‘issue’. I will speak up for others whether it applies to me or not. I am used to standing apart from the norm. In fact, I like this and intend to start writing. I know I have a lot to offer the world. My experience and my true heart is all a part of the Savior’s plan. I live for His will, and not ours. In Jesus’ name I speak these things, and pray that my character defects will continue to be corrected.
Thank you. I enjoy your posts!
Jane Ryan, BS, CASAC-T