Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Perfect Family

We have had so much stuff going on in our lives lately. I know, when was the last time this Abele family wasn't up to it's nose in drama? .. But we are in a new phase of drama. I guess I must like drama, we keep coming back to it. Like my sweet girl keeps talking about - a life lived, is full. There is a lot of good and a lot of bad.

Today I was listening to Beth Moore on and she is in the series about godly people doing ungodly things. I have learned a lot from that series - the title applies to me and my family. We are lovers of God that do ungodly things.

She talked about how we become "hads". When we are "had" we have been seduced by evil. She doesn't sugar coat it with excuses and say "poor us, it's not our fault we were deceived" instead, she recognizes that we generally go straight into evil because we refuse to use our discernment. We don't heed the Holy Spirit but instead rationalize the foolish choice to be something good. And, it seems good for awhile until ... the light is turned on or the reality of our choice comes or a tragic, sad event comes along to awaken us from our trance.

We all know that when we are "had" by evil it's an ugly thing. What may have seemed like a really good, pleasing idea turns rotten. I hate those times. I hate it when I realize how STUPID I have been. It's just that plain and simple. I see the devastation around me and I feel awful.
How do you continue forward after being the "had" and realizing that because of me, people are suffering?

That is when .. oh, the beloved when ... we turn to our Lord Jesus. We take our awful mess, the pain we've caused and take our broken selves back to Him AGAIN.

I can't express in words the relief I get when I am with the Lord. When I stop running in my mind and be quiet. When I let Him regain the control and set things on their proper course.
And in the past during my times of being "had" the thing that crushed my spirit the most was my regret of allowing my lack of discernment to hurt others. I absolutely hate that.

When I get to that place the only thing I could do was wake up every morning and walk forward with the Lord, carrying my heavy load of remorse.
The consolation I find is in His Word and in His sovereignty. I recognize that He is bigger then my sin. He is the healer, not just for me but for those I have caused the pain. In time, with His gentle love I am able to let go of the remorse.

Then He brings songs to my mind like -

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

He brings me to a place of rest and then joy.

 Lately I have been in a state of confusion. I don't like that because it steals my joy. I have joy when I know that God is good, not me. I have so much freedom in realizing that I am not able to be all I should be and that I do lack discernment but it's the faithfulness of God that will get from one day to the next. I have hope in His brilliance and holiness. My job is to hold onto His hand and listen for His voice. If there is to be any moral excellence in my life it will be a reflection of His presence. It's not something I can manufacture, it's a benefit of being with the Lord.

By experiencing that lack of joy it made me seek the Lord. Today I asked the Lord where I have been "had" and several things came to my mind. One thought that really stood out was my  presumption that I might or that I should have a perfect family. That our family would be clean and neat inside and out. That I could have pride in my little family, and as we walked out of the house into the community, into church there would be no error found. No sin. Just sweet smelling and clean.

Wow. That is enough to choke a horse!  Who could even really think that is possible? Why did I go there with my thoughts and desires?? I have been down this road before and the Lord had shown me truth. But, there I was again.

It was a lie from Satan.
I do not have a clean and neat family. In our little family ... we have all been "had".
And when I recognize that our family is not the perfect model of our ideals, I get freedom. Our family .. God bless us, and I really mean that .. is saved by His sacrifice of grace.

I think the Lord told me today that my joy was being stolen because I was trying to live up to an ideal. I am an idealist by nature so it's easy for me to get caught up in that mindset. Unfortunately, the reality of my own stupidity has shown me that my idealism is probably not going to be reality.

I recognized then, that what is real is being alive, walking with the Lord, enjoying His provisions, following His voice, doing as He calls me
AND also what is real is - not walking with the Lord, but instead ... ignoring Him and hurting others. So sad to have that part.

That is not a perfect picture. I am not a perfect example of a Biblical woman. Or maybe I am. The true story not the idealistic picture.
As we search the scriptures we find that grace abounds. His love abounds. His unmerited favor covers us. In that sense I am very much a Biblical woman. In fact, my name is Mary Magdalene. It's a good name for a sinner.

I  think I have refound my joy. It is the undying love of Jesus who gives me my freedom for joy. I can move and have my being because He provided a means for me, and the rest of His beloved children, the way for us. It's not in perfection but in His grace.

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