Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Family

I have been reading in Genesis for some time now and this past week I was reading a lot about one particular family, especially the two brothers, Jacob and Esau.

In short form, Jacob received a blessing by their father Issac that was meant to be for Esau. He tricked his father into giving him the blessing. (Gen. 27) This wasn't even the first time that Esau had been cheated by Jacob. (Gen. 25: 27-34)

Can you imagine, being cheated by your brother in a way such as that, not only once.. but twice! The anger and hurt that Esau felt, had to be incredible.

Here is what got me though... years later, after Jacob had a family of his own, as did Esau they were about to cross paths. Jacob was fearful, he did not know how Esau would react to him. He even sent slaves out ahead of him with a gift of herds of animals, almost like a peace offering. (Gen. 32)

When Esau and Jacob finally met though..

"But Esau ran to meet him, hugged him, threw his arms around him, and kissed him. Then they wept" Gen. 33:4. (You can read more here)

If this isn't an example of forgiveness.. I don't know what is...
If this isn't an example of the love that a family has... of the love that Christ has shown us... I don't know what is...

I was struck though when I started thinking about whether or not I exercise that kind of love in my own life.

On Sunday, my husband shared during his sermon a story about his family. (coincidentally). Matt's dad caused him a lot of grief growing up.. alcoholic, abusive, not there. This past summer though Matt started to receive letters from his dad. Honestly, the hurt that Matt has gone through b/c of his dad could have caused him just to toss the letters, but you know.. he read them and he wrote his dad back. Now, they have been writing letters for months and just this week Matt talked to his dad on the telephone for the first time in years.

Now, I don't have quite the same story that Matt does and maybe you don't either... but the Lord has been showing me how even in my own family I need to show Christ's love to them.

~I need to pray for my family more.

~I need to ask them how I can pray for them.

~I need to consider their needs more.

~I need to ask them how they are doing more often.

The Lord has especially been speaking to me about my sister and the lack of a relationship that we share. She has gone through some tough times and I regret the fact that I wasn't always there for her. It's nuts how a complete stranger can be hurting and we run to them but sometimes in our own family we just put it off.

So, I am really praying for my sister.. not just mentioning her name in a long list of people. I sent her a card a couple weeks ago and I'm going to again this week.

Family is such a gift, even through the heartaches.. and believe me, I've had my share.. but Christ has put us each in our own family for a reason.

Lord,

Thank you for my family.

Help me Lord to not take them for granted. Help me Lord to not only see my family for what they can do for me Lord, but how I can better serve them. I pray Lord that my relationship with each of them will continue to deepen. I pray that I will be a true light and testament to you in each the relationships that I share with them. Lord, give me wisdom , give me patience, give me understanding...

AMEN.

3 comments:

Mrs. A said...

I completely agree with your comment that we run to a complete stranger in need but often neglect our own families.

I too wrote about family today and how sometimes we don't even think about how our words might be hurting our families even if they weren't meant negatively.

I'm reading in Ephesians right now.

Candice said...

Good encouragement, Jessica. I have been convicted lately to honor my parents more by initiating phone calls and emails, even if I feel too busy or don't feel in the mood. I'm still working on doing better in this area.

Stephanie said...

This is a great reminder. I need to be praying more for some of my family. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog too-it is so encouraging!