The Divine Finisher

You may remember me sharing that my word for this year (2017) is listen. So in February I asked the Lord what topic He wanted me to cover and felt impressed to study how He has modeled parenting for us. That’s been my theme the past several weeks. I figured who else can show us how to manage difficult children?

But this is an exhaustive topic. That’s actually good. Right?

Does not our heavenly Father continually entice us, make us thirsty, cause us to seek after Him, make us hungry to learn more, go deeper, grow wiser?

So in an attempt to wrap up this topic—leaving so many rich thoughts un-delved—I’d like to look at the idea that this Father does more than teach us how to parent …

He is the divine Parent.

Continue reading “The Divine Finisher”

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Jesus: The Perpetual Gift

How could it be past Christmas day and I’ve not yet mentioned Jesus—the greatest gift of all? But then, how can I even begin to describe Him?

Yet it’s Jesus alone who carried me through the turmoil of raising SAFE* children.

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When a friend—a married man—got to know my daughter a little too well, I implored the Lion of Judah to devour that man. However when I looked in Scripture at the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, I discovered the Lion is actually the Lamb—the Lamb that was slain (Revelation 5:1-6). He’s who made salvation possible, not just for me, but for this man as well. The Lion who is the Lamb, offers mercy to every human—hideously naughty or sugary nice.

When my only perfect child took a giant step into the abyss, and my world seemed dark, I discovered the Bright Morning Star (Revelation 22:16). You know what? That Star not only shows up in the morning after the long dark night, that star is actually the first to appear in the sky at the beginning of night and is visible all night long. Hope, even when it appears small, never abandons us.

When my children seemed to turn against me, I sunk deep into Immanuel, God with me (Matthew 1:23). I sheltered under the shadow of His wing (Psalm 91). He was the no-man’s-land that placed Himself between me and my enemies. But He also reminded me that though I had a very real and angry enemy, it was not my kids (Ephesians 6:12).

When others misjudged me, He reminded me that He Himself was my vindication (Psalm 17:2). And you know what, He handled all the judges just fine. Most who thought they could do better than we did, at some point had one of our children living with them. Each one came back later to say they now understood our decisions. None of them allowed our children to live in their homes longer than a few months.

When I messed up—over and over and over—He reminded me that He was my salvation (Psalm 18:2).

When I fell far short of meeting my children’s deepest needs, He assured me that He is the Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5).

  • Lion of the Tribe of Judah
  • Lamb Who was Slain
  • Bright Morning Star
  • Immanuel
  • Shelter
  • Vindication
  • Savior
  • Father to the Fatherless

‘Tis true, Jesus is the most exquisite gift we treasure each Christmas: wrapped in babe-like innocence, cooing the purest peace, shining with inextinguishable love, assuring eternal hope, and reigniting the joy of our salvation. But He’s also the sacrificial Lamb: a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He enters our struggles and becomes, in Himself, the fulfillment of our every need.

He’s the never-ending gift for today, tomorrow, and every tomorrow that follows. Even when it feels like crucifixion Friday or deep-in-the-grave Saturday …

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In the year to come, I encourage you to frequently make time to grasp the snow-globe of this good news and give it a little shake. Take just a few moments to gaze at the truths encased in the God-made-flesh scene, and remind yourself that God is always present and mighty to save.

*Step/Adoptive/Foster/Every other nonbiological