God blessed me yesterday during a conversation I had with one of my sons who is not a Christian. The conversation was unexpected. I spoke to my son about the reality of Jesus Christ. It’s not the first time that I have done this but this time was different. The words from my heart where all there, I was able to articulate exactly what I truly wanted to say and I knew in my heart that I couldn’t possibly have said it any better. I lift my son up in prayer every day as I do for all of our five children. When I say children, please understand that they are now all grown adults. When our conversation was over, I felt so very thankful for this gift that God had just given me. I have no clue what impact it had on my son, but as always, I am hopeful. It was an extraordinary conversation and I have learned that extraordinary things don’t just happen by chance.
Our conversation started out discussing politics and changed to philosophy and then of course to Jesus. My discussion with my son made me mindful of my failures to him as a father. Especially with regard to me being a witness to the reality of God and me being the example of God’s love and grace to him, in our home and later on in his independent adult life. I wasn’t a terrible father, but for sure, I could have been a lot better, especially when it came to being a Christian example. There were too many times when my light that should have shined was very dim or totally extinguished, to my shame.
Problem being, it’s pretty hard being an example for someone else on how to stay afloat in this big ocean we’re all in, when your drowning yourself. And that of course was exactly the position that I was in. It’s a long story, I’m not going to go into specific details but believing in God and earnestly trying to walk with God are not one and the same thing. Even church activities can mask this reality.
One of the things we talked about was love and how of all the things that we encounter, love is the most cherished reality. My son and I love one another, that’s never really been in question, although I’m sure that there may have been doubt introduced at times on both of our parts. The blind leading the blind comes to mind. Once again, I am his father and it is I that should have been showing the way. My mistakes in judgement, anger, unbalanced decisions, too much strictness when some flexibility could have been given, are some of my shortfalls, to name but a few.
And I’d like to think that if I knew then what I know now, things would have been different but knowing myself as I do, I can’t say that with absolute assurance. I’m still prone to over react, emotions can still over ride what I know in my heart to be true. I’m not perfect, never have been and as long as I am in the body, I sincerely doubt that I ever will be. That’s because part of me is me and part of me is Jesus living in me. Percentages may have changed over the years but God is still working on me. The scary part is that the closer you walk with God the more you come to realize how much yet needs changing. Even after our rebirth of being “born again”, it can be a long long road back to Eden.
That’s why true justice for all, forgiveness and mercy are such big things with God, why Jesus focused on our need to acknowledge and forgive one another so much. It scares me how wrong I have been and it scares me how wrong I still can be. My God is holy and I in and of myself am not. That’s why I need Jesus, desperately, every minute of every hour of every day. Walking with God is about dying to self and having Christ live in us and it’s not easy because either consciously or unconsciously, this body, mind and heart of ours, strives to keep alive that which needs to die, if we earnestly desire to be holy like our holy God. And it’s only when we honestly strive to accomplish this requirement that we come to realize that we can never do it by ourselves. That’s why the Law including the 10 Commandments was given in the Old Testament, to show us the standard that we could never meet. Israel is not alone, we’re all slow learners.
That’s why God our Father sent us His Son to make us holy through faith in Him and what He accomplished on our behalf. That’s why Jesus said that without Him we could do nothing. That’s why our one justifiable work is to believe in Him that the Father has sent because Jesus is God’s forgiveness to all of us, who accept it. The only possible solution at being one with our holy God is accepting God’s forgiveness for our sins, that God extends to us through the shed blood of His Son. Repentance is acknowledging that our ways don’t work, that our ways need to become His ways and our thoughts need to become His thoughts. And we, in faith, turn to God’s Son, to accomplish this transformation in us, beginning in this earthly body and being fully realized at our own promised resurrection.
And we, God’s children, are to extend forgiveness, to one another. Because He alone is good, He alone is perfect and He alone is holy.
So I’m hoping and praying that my son can forgive me for being me, just as I forgive him for being him and that he also will look to Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!