Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Family unity......

Photo from 90's. Debbie, Sherri, Me, Mom, Aunt Carol.
I just returned from a three week visit to Ohio to visit my family. So much has happened since this photo was taken years ago. There is not much real unity in my family, although we believe there is a sense of love. My precious parents are feeble whether in body or mind and can no longer care for themselves.  YET they deny this and insist they can. My sister Debbie has taken the task of tending to them and it is an overwhelming, stressful, anger producing endeavor that is burning her out. We so often deal with each other with harsh, bitter words, impatience, frustration, gossip, condescension, and a spirit of divisiveness that is disgusting. I am ashamed to admit that I am sucked into this all too often. Where is our love for one another? Where is our caring for one another? Our encouraging one another? As I went thru each day observing the family dynamics, I found myself needing to "run" to 
1 Cor: 13 1-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant
5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 
8 Love never fails.....

Love as the Lord Jesus defined it here is non-existent in my family.

I read today a thought provoking chapter on Unity in the book by Tony Evans  "Horizontal Jesus" . Here is a part of what he says...

It’s amazing how much power and impact people can have when they share a common goal. In fact, a small minority of like-minded people can make big changes. Lobbyists and protesters—even in small numbers—wield great power when unified. So we must ask ourselves, is the church of Jesus Christ experiencing the unity and exerting the national influence that we should, especially considering the strength of our numbers? Sadly, the answer is often no. Even though we claim the same God and worship the same Lord, we have allowed differences in race, class, culture, preferences, priorities, platforms, and more to divide us. In doing so, we have reduced our cultural impact as the horizontal representatives of Jesus.
Jesus stated clearly, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25). This applies not only to the universal body of Christ but also to the local church’s impact on individual lives, families, marketplaces, neighborhoods, communities, and schools. Hell has sought to divide God’s kingdom to minimize His influence. Satan is the ultimate divider. He tried to split up heaven by getting one-third of the angels to join him in rebellion against God. He brought chaos into the first family when he separated Adam and Eve from God and pitted them against each other. Satan also instigated sibling hatred when he enticed the first son (Cain) to kill his brother (Abel). In fact, Satan introduced so much dissension into the world that God issued a worldwide flood.
Satan loves to divide. When he divides, he can conquer. This is because he knows something about God’s nature that you and I need to always remember.
Satan is the author of dis-unity. He is shown victor in my family as we relate to one another with unloving words and attitudes. I examine my heart and see so much rubbish I need to remove permanently and I ask the Lord for His divine help. I ask Him to reveal His love to my family members so they too can lean on His strength. We have a desperate need for unity.