Originally published Friday, 01 May 2015.
I love my family. I love them so much.
But, put us all in one room and you will see the definition of hectic.
With 6 children and a bunch of grandkids, there are bound to be problems.
Normally one person goes in the spotlight of scrutiny and if you happen to be that one - you need to run.
Each person, including me, comes with our own background, opinions and issues.
We come with trials, with life concerns and, sometimes, with hurt feelings.
We come living out childhood roles we thought we left so long ago.
It's amazing, time changes, but somehow childhood perceptions stay the same.
Some parts of family can be so hard.
In many families, it can be agony to find relief from:
- Pains of yesterday that still feel alive
- Judgments that fly
- Words that have hurt
- People who have abandoned
- Abuse that has occurred
- Walls that seem to separate
- Anger of yesterday
- Strong opinions
- Eager assumptions
- Life-haltering labels
- Deep rejection
These kinds of hurts go under the radar at holiday tables,
but they live written all over the hearts of those who sit around it.
God sees everything though.
He sees the foot stomping below the table,
the hands beautifully crossed above,
the child screaming next to it
and the sagging heart before it.
He always sees. No pain of the past is ever lost on God. No hurt of the future is either.
"God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled..." (2 Thess. 1:6-7)
What I walk away holding on to is that God does the payback. Not us. He also offers the relief, we don't find it some other way.
He provides a path out from a table of hurts and a soft rescue for our heart.
His relief means we don't have to go to war. We don't have to fight with all our might. We don't have to slam our fists on the table. We simply find refuge in the One who is the ultimate refuge. The ultimate rescuer.
"This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels." (2 Thes. 1:8)
Jesus will come in glory, in majesty and in power and ultimately relieve us from everything. That day will come. He will return in magnificence.
Until then, we always have an outlet in Jesus.
We can reside at his feast - anytime. We can sit at a table of secure love, empowering joy and no judgment. We can take refuge in him. We can bring our hurts to the table and let him forgive us there.
Then, arms will not cross, feet will not tap, words will not spew, but love of God will just go through and through.
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