“If only…”

We had the N’s over for dinner again. We have been so blessed by their being here and encouragement in our lives!

Mom and dad have been wanting Cait and I to take a more active role in preparing the meal when people come over for dinner. So I planned the meal and made the main dish this time.

We had: bread, salad, honey glazed curried chicken (which was an experiment – we had the recipe and had never made it before. All of the adults loved it, but some of the younger kids didn’t like it as much), rice, and green beans with almonds.
After dinner we sat around the table talking for a while, and I was in and out helping/playing with Faith, John, and Hope in between talking with Mrs. N and Connor.
But then my favorite part of the evening whenever we have people over came – a time of family worship as our two families together.
Dad read the passage in John when Lazarus dies. We were talking about how Jesus stayed two more days BECAUSE Lazarus was sick, so Lazarus would die and God could be glorified through his death. We decided it was like the storm on the lake when Jesus was asleep in the boat. He’s there, He’s in control, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
We also need to remember that all of these things are temporary – running around Dubai for appliances, miscommunication, imperfection – life is full of “If only…”
But what’s that saying? “God, if only you gave me…” or “If only I lived then… or there…” or “If only my dad loved me more I could serve him better.” “If only you had done this, then this wouldn’t have happened!” Like we know better than God?
God’s up there saying “This happened SO THAT I could be glorified more. I waited and let Lazarus die so I could show my glory and power and bring people to know me. I let your dad fly all of the night shifts this month SO THAT he could meet certain pilots and tell them about Me.”
Our conversation then drifted slightly to the persecuted Church. Mr. N challenged us by asking “If [Christians were still persecuted like they were in Rome] how many Christians would there be today? How many of us would be willing to shoulder our crosses ever day and suffer for Christ?”
It’s a sobering question. How many of us, in the face of lions, fire, swords – would be willing to still call ourselves Christians?
Mr. N went on – “It’s happening again. Maybe not in our generation, but in the generation of our children. So we need to prepare them for this.”
A multi-generational vision of strong Christian faith that so many people – Christians – are missing. It’s beautiful. It’s biblical… and it works. Ever wonder why our families are being torn apart and sons and daughters turn away from the Lord? Because we’ve lost the Deuteronomy 6 vision of teaching the Lord’s commands to your sons so that they can teach it to their sons. So that the family – a reflection of Christ – will be equipped to fight sin.
Don’t say “If only my dad…”
Talk to him. Encourage him to lead your family in this and teach you God’s statutes so that you can teach them to your children.
So that in a time of persecution, we can cling to His cross and count Christ our greatest treasure – far above our books, music, comfort, safety, friends, family…
We have the greatest treasure on earth.
Shoulder your cross and share it.

Bail o Dia ort
– Kyleigh

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