Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "His Yoke Is Easy"1 (Lyrics)
Genesis 18:19a – For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and the sons of his house after him to keep the way of the Lord and to do what is just and righteous. (AMPC)
I live half a block from a funeral home. Hearses come by all the time, familiar drivers waving happily at me from the front seats, just doing their everyday assignments. It isn't their mother being buried today. I always wave back, often thinking of the old gospel tune, Will the circle be unbroken? Only God knows the answer to that. A few years ago, my son and I were doing a spur-of-the-moment outdoor gig, singing and playing, when he broke into that song by Alvin Pleasant Carter:
- I was standing by the window
On one cold and cloudy day
When I saw the hearse come rolling
For to carry my mother away.
I felt a little out of place joining in, being the mother and all. As I age, that break in the circle here on earth is coming up. How dearly I want to know that I will see my children again someday in heaven!
Someone reminded us, God has no grandchildren. Hard as that is to face, just because our parents and grandparents were steadfast believers and did their best, with God's help, to raise us to love God, to believe and trust His Word, and to walk with Him, it doesn't mean that we automatically turn up in heaven after our death. To have a personal relationship with God and to follow where He leads is entirely and solely our own decision to make. Not my mother, not my father, but it's me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer, the old hymn reminds us. All through my life, that conversation goes on. I have a choice. When I ask, God helps me with the answer. Prayer is that asking. "Trying to pray is praying", someone said.
So often in the Bible is repeated the story of an individual who walked with God, but begat a son who did evil in the sight of the Lord. What kind of an example am I setting for my children — and their children? When we start out parenting, usually there is something that we promised ourselves that we'd never do. Then, forgetting that, we just go on in the way that we were brought up, without much questioning. Parenting is the single hardest thing I've ever done. Without God it is impossible.
Philippians 4:13 – I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]. (AMPC)
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, who has given each of us our circles, family, and friends, we pray for all who have strayed to receive Your healing strength, and to return to wholeness, soundness, and sanity. Thank You for the power of Your Son who healed and restored the broken and lost during His time on earth. Raise up our circles today to know and walk with You as we do with one another — children, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and our exes. May our lives sing Your songs today, wherever and whoever we are, by Your grace. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.