Tears in a Bottle
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
The winter months start a whole slew of birthdays and anniversaries in my family. My uncle was born near Thanksgiving, two aunts’ birthdays and mine are in December, two anniversaries—my parents and my husband’s and mine in December—a grandfather’s birthday, a grandmother’s birthday and my middle daughter’s birthday in January….
I woke up this morning, and the first thought that came to me was “Today is December 30. Happy birthday, Aunt Leota!” Aunt Leota has gone on to glory almost thirty years ago, but she is still remembered.
And that made me think about my heritage. Uncle Lundy and Aunt Leota used to go on mission trips to countries in South America (generally, Brazil, but maybe one or two others) when I was a small child. They brought back hand-woven purses and ponchos for my sister and I, native dolls for us, and a whole bunch of stories about their experiences and how they were able to help build houses for people, or build a church, or how they witnessed to so many people while they worked.
It makes it all the more amazing when you think that this uncle was the firstborn son of my Ex-Amish grandparents. Neither of my grandparents were saved when they left the Amish, my grandfather dabbled in various religions (none of them Christian) trying to get away from the Amish ‘god’ he was raised with. A god that was demanding and not loving, a god that took and didn’t give. He was saved on his deathbed. My grandmother had a long road until she discovered the goodness and grace and mercy of God and was saved—my uncle, aunt, and mother were all young adults by then—and they were saved in the same tent meeting as my grandmother.
And that made me think of my uncle. A more godly man than most. I loved him like crazy. Admired him for his missions’ work, his devotion to God and the church, his support of missionaries and preachers, and the way he led his family in devotions and prayer.
But before he was saved, he lived like the world. He made decisions that broke his mama’s heart. He got a bad reputation, and good girls were warned to stay away from him.
And because of God, because of His loving kindness, mercy, and grace for my family He reached down, drew my family to Him, and as a result I was born into a family that loved God. That worshiped and adored Him. That lived to serve Him. I accepted Christ as my Savior at a very young age. I strive to raise my children with the same values, with the same heritage, with the same love of God.
Satan wants the first born, because he knows that belongs to God. My oldest son, named after my missionary-minded uncle and my dad who was called into the ministry, has been claimed by the devil. He is living a life that probably would rival my uncle’s before he was saved. Maybe even worse, since I’m not sure drugs were readily available all those long years ago. He is breaking my heart. I’ve prayed and prayed. I’ve talked to him. Dragged him to church. Had other minister friends talk to him. Nothing seems to reach him. Not even losing his vehicle, losing jobs, and spending time in jail.
The Bible also says in Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV): Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Today I am clinging to that promise. I don’t know what will happen with my son in the next year. The way things are looking, it will be more jail time. But God meets people in jail. And maybe, someday, when he reaches the bottom, God will reach out to my son and he will reach back and embrace Him with all his heart and all his soul and all his mind—and live up to his family heritage.
If you are facing a heartbreaking situation in your own life, due to your decisions or to your child’s, or even your spouse’s, then know that God cares. He hears you. He loves you. And He will give you strength.
Psalm 56:8 (NKJV) You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?