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Posts Tagged ‘Divorce’

 

“Look at those people, honey!” I pointed out the kitchen window. “Are they silly, stupid, or just not paying attention?”

My husband peered out the kitchen window. “Can’t they see the road’s closed?”

Missing the Warnings

“Obviously not. And here comes the school bus too. Gracious, you can see that barricade and those large orange signs from the top of the hill, but they keep coming and are forced to turn around. I vote for stupid.” I ran to slip on a pair of jeans and a shirt and grab my camera. “This would make a great blog; don’t you think?”

Missing the Warnings 2

Hubs grinned. “Don’t make any enemies. Folks might not like you taking their picture and calling ’em stupid.

We live in a small subdivision off a country road with only two ways in and out. The Texas Road Department has been working on our stretch of road since way before Christmas. They’ve been diligent to put up signs for detours and closures—big signs—that can be seen from far away.

I glanced up again and the school bus ripped right by the road closure sign and then had to back up a long block to turn around. Sigh. Not one person paid any attention to the warning signs.

Missing the Mark 4

But don’t we all do the same thing as we zip through life? Somehow thinking we’re immune to the consequences of not following warnings.

God spent a great deal of time recording His warnings and the consequences of bolting through the barricade. Yet we don’t even take the time to educate ourselves on the words the Spirit of God breathed to the prophets, to Christ Jesus, to His disciples, and to us. He warned us over and over again, and what do we do? Race down that closed off road, believing we are going to be the only one who makes it through the barrier unscathed.

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He warned Ancient Israel, and this warning still screams at Americans, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls” (Luke 11:17 NAS). And what have we done? Elect and re-elect a president who is sprinting toward the finish line with the label of the most divisive president in U.S. history.

“For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel” (Malachi 2:16 NAS). Yet the divorce stats within the church are basically the same as couples outside the church.

The Book of Proverbs tells us, “Do not associate with a man given to anger or go with a hot tempered man” (Proverbs 22:24 NAS). And what would we call the front runner on the Republican side in the upcoming election?

Romans tells us, “Do not forsake the gathering of yourselves together with other believers” (Hebrews 10:25 NAS). But many say, I work all week, I’m tired. I’ll just watch church on HDTV—Hmm.

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness” (II Corinthians 6:14 NAS).  Another warning gone by the wayside—the believer is always going to change the unbelieving date…until they fall in love. Then what are they to do? God is not a cosmic kill-joy. These warnings are to keep His children from plunging off the cliff.

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The Word warns, “Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32 NAS). I don’t see any exclusions for rush hour on the freeway, do you? And listening to the local news confirms we live in a very angry society.

“Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8 NAS). I’m old enough to remember Sunday Blue Laws, and I can say with certainty, we never missed a meal or went to church naked because the stores weren’t open on Sunday. Sunday afternoons were family days.

What warning barrier have you catapulted over? Which warning signals have you ignored? We have all sinned as individuals and as a nation. “There is none righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10 NAS). Remember, God stands ready to forgive our sins, but the consequences of disregarding God’s warnings remain.

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His Holy name. For the Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting. And His truth endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:4-5 NAS).

Praying

 

 

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We purchased a home in Texas where four pear trees stood like sentinels between the sidewalk and the road. It was September and the trees had pears on them. Mmm, I could taste the soon-to-be pear preserves. There was not an abundant harvest that year, but the trees were young and there would always be next year.

The following spring there were few buds and the sprouting leaves unfurled to reveal withered, yellow-brown ones instead of the expected abundance of spring green.

Being city folks we checked with a neighbor. He suspected root knot and said the only choice was to cut them down and dig up the trunks and roots. Sure enough, his diagnosis was correct. The roots were knotted and dying.

Growing trees in Texas is a challenge. It takes a hardy tree to withstand our heat and long dry spells and the belligerent soil was certainly no help. The ground turns to mush after a good rain, then hard as rock the day after. And, then it dries up, cracks open, leaving bottomless craters in the landscape.

With this wild fluctuation, roots can’t form the necessary network to support the weight of the tree. Like our pear trees, if roots aren’t healthy, the tree will die.

But isn’t that true with of all of us? When my foundation isn’t strong and healthy in the Lord, my roots aren’t able to support and sustain me during the storms of life. I will be like a tree, twisted and broken, possibly uprooted when winds begin to blow.

Many of us travel through life with root-knotted hearts caused by unresolved abuse, injury or grief.  Pain of fear and loneliness that has pressed down on us, layer upon layer for years. Pain of guilt sequestered in dark corners of our hearts. Pain of anger left to fester and seep poison into every area of our lives and relationships.

Unlike root-knotted trees, root-knotted hearts can be healed. The Lord created our hearts for eternity. He alone can cure the diseases we bury deep inside. But we must expose each one of them to the brilliant light and healing balm of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God will be the water, the fertilizer, and the stimulator that encourages new roots to develop and grow. God stimulated roots that will anchor us in the flowing river of His love. Strong roots that will carry His healing power to transform our hearts.

I know well the misery of famished roots, stunted growth, slow death. For much of my life there were gnarled layers of anger and anguish lurking in the dark chambers of my heart. Scarred roots entombed in my subconscious.

Until the moment of my daughter’s death.

My heart exploded like a shaken-up can of soda pop. Those acid strings of heartache and turmoil I had stifled so many years ago now resurrected the ghosts of injuries past—abuse by an uncle in my childhood, lies, unrealistic expectations, verbal and emotional abuse from a spouse, divorce, four deaths in three years—all beyond my ability to deal with. The abuses and sorrows trampled over me and I had no strength to shove them back into the crevices where I’d kept them hidden for more than forty years.

They had to be dug-up, one infected root at a time. Just like I had to dig up those pear trees. The good news for me—Jesus will not throw me on the trash heap like I threw those trees, nor does He play the three strikes—you’re out game. No. He tells me to bring my anguish and afflictions to Him, with open hands, and leave them there. On the altar. In the care of my loving and righteous and just God who will deal with the pain, with the cause, and with me in a loving, righteous, and just manner. Then He will wash me and fill me with His joy. His hope.

I encourage you to ask the Spirit of God to bring to your mind those debilitating wounds tucked into the hidden hide-outs of your heart so that you can surrender every heartache and shame to the One who created you, loves you, and longs to heal you.

            “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3 KJ).

                       

 

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