Day 2 of 7 • This day’s reading
My mom and dad divorced when I was little. I remember waiting for my dad to pick me up one day, but he didn’t show. We moved soon after. When I was 12 or 13, I talked to him for a while, and then he disappeared again. When I got older, I prayed and told myself that if I ever got married and had a boy, I would be the father I never had.
Well, I did get married, and God did bless me with a wonderful boy. I love that boy very much, and my feelings haven’t changed about being the best father to him that I can. When I heard you were doing this, I was so excited. I have been wanting to somehow get the word out to boys and even man – to let them know that even though it hurts when someone walks out on you, it wasn’t your fault. Not only that, but there is the one and only Father who will never leave you or forsake you.
I hope you can help me get the word out to help all those feeling this way. Thank you for your time and God bless.
Sometimes those are the first words out of our mouths: “It’s the way I grew up.” Many of us apply that explanation to a million situations.
“I don’t like family get-togethers; it’s the way I grew up.”
“Hugs make me feel nervous. We didn’t do that growing up.”
“I don’t help my children with their homework because when I was growing up, my parents didn’t help me.”
On and on… The lives we knew as children can explain a lot.
Our childhood can explain our fears, our anxiousness, and even our poor choices. It can help us understand how our personalities were shaped and why we had made some of the choices we’ve made. Some of us had difficult upbringings, and that explains a lot. Others of us had fabulous, idyllic childhoods, and because of them, we’ve got the good kind of explaining to do.
But some days, it’s so easy to let the shortcomings of our childhoods excuse our decisions as adults. How you and I grew up is an explanation for the feelings we have and the weakness we may face. But at some point, the man or woman who follows Jesus can no longer use the explanation as an excuse. Because of Jesus, anyone – anytime, anywhere – can be made new. With God, we do not have to be limited by the childhoods we had, the earthly fathers who left, the moms who died too soon, or even the abuses we suffered.
Jesus came, lived, taught, and died so that you and I can have eternal life. But Jesus came for so much more. Through Jesus, we have received power that can change our very natures. How you grew up doesn’t have to dictate how you will live your future. You do not have to live in bondage to the struggles you have faced, the people who disappointed you, or the rejection you have known. Our Savior, Jesus, had made a promise. Anyone who is in Him is a new creation. The old has gone. The new has come!
That means it’s never too late to become anything with God. Your willing heart is the perfect soil for God’s new growth in you. Want to be the father you never had? Your heavenly father has never forsaken you. He will show you how. Want to become the woman you have always dreamed you could be? The power of the Holy Spirit is able to transform your heart, your mind, and your spirit. Want to live in obedience when most of your past has been about disobedience? That’s just the kind of thing Jesus is able to do. He can take the old away and make you brand-new.
To be in Jesus is to decide to follow His teachings and respond to His leading. We pursue a relationship with Him by reading His Scriptures, praying to Him, and loving and serving as He would have us do. Being in Jesus means that He covers us. His forgiveness covers our past, His power covers today, and His faithfulness covers our future. In Christ, all things are possible. Little boys who had a rough start can become great men. Abused girls whose hearts were broken can become loving moms. This world and its troubles can cause us great heartache, but it cannot have us. We belong to God.
Today, may we look back at our childhoods for explanations that give understanding. But let each one of us come to Jesus and lay our excuses at the cross. We do not have to live as our old selves. Behold, Jesus makes all things, even me and you, brand-new!
Let us live as the new creations of Christ for His glory and for His purpose so that the world can see His goodness and grace.
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Copyright 2007 Fellowship for the Performing Arts