Tough love

Tough love

Christmas of 1954 was a day I will always remember. Next to the tree was a new shiny black Western Flyer. I no longer had to walk to school every day, but could ride! However, it took a while before my mom felt my cycling skills were developed well enough for this significant event. After pleading for what seemed like an eternity, I caught her on a good morning and she said OK. Only one caveat – she was going to follow me in the car and make sure I got there ok. Oh, yuk! Everyone would see that she was following me and I would be the laughing stock of Spring Park Elementary. Fortunatly somehow as I pulled up to the bike rack, with my chest puffed out like a bandy rooster, no one seemed to notice her waving goodbye. Everything was cool. I was then able to make the trek by myself, or so I thought. It wasn’t until years later that I found out she followed me for weeks, before she felt secure enough to let me go by myself.

I tell you that story because this time of year is a time when we find ourselves dug in with gray skies and anything but beach weather to greet us.  We face the facts that winter is going to be around for a while and many of our good intentions and New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside. It’s a time of year when it is easy to be discouraged or fall back into old habits. However, this is the time of year when I choose to rely on my “secret weapons” more heavily than perhaps at other times. My natural instinct is to retreat and withdraw. However, with a ministry that is simply not possible, because this is the time of year when others need us to bring sunshine into their lives most. If you haven’t called on your secret weapons, perhaps now is a good time to get in touch with them!

Psalm 34:7 – 9 (NLT) says this: “I was a nobody, but I prayed, and the LORD saved me from all my troubles. If you honor the LORD, his angel will protect you. Discover for yourself that the LORD is kind . . . and you will be glad.” In the year 245 AD one of the church fathers (Origen) wrote this concerning those verses: “So long as we are imperfect, and need someone to assist us . . . we stand in need of an angel.” Which one of us do not need help from time to time? Which one of us do not need comforting when no one else is around? If Christ’s angels ministered to Him during His time of need would your angel do no less? If you don’t believe me listen to this from Hebrews 1:14: “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” You have a sprit waiting to serve you, protect you and minister to you whenever you need them. When was the last time you beckoned them? You did realize you could talk with them, didn’t you?

Your angels are quietly hanging around in the background like my mom did when I rode my bike to school. However, yours never leave you or forsake you. They are dug into the trench with you and are there right now. Ask God to make them more real to you and give you that added boost you might need to get going. Don’t take them for granted – you have no idea how many times they have already saved your life.

Love Dad

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