As a man whose immediate family has passed away, I have been on a quest to find what a good family relationship looks like and through analyzing different people's traits. I have dreamed of what my life would have looked like if I was closer to those that are still alive, and how things in the past could have been different. This story is a piece that I have revised for over 10yrs. now; a journey about redemption, forgiveness, and peace.
God's word clearly states that your worst enemy will be from your family.
He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.
New Living Translation (©2007)
A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
So with this mind, I searched for what I would find as the "imperfect family" because only God is made perfect and we see an example of that with Jesus in the human flesh.
From reunions, to different people I have dated, I have met close and extended families over the last 10yrs. And God has shown me something different from each of them. Let me share with you a group of men who became my "father figure" growing up.
My band teach Mr. Banks was a solid man. Able to control us kids in band class and still had time for personal things. When he first found out about my lack of a car ride to go to band camp he offered to take me himself. Now here is a man that took charge and solved problems.
Next is one of my favorites! My first memory of Clint. He was a strong man with his own family. He played guitar and sang tenor in church. This man was the first real role model in my life. Later on he taught me guitar and even worked out with me. He was a deacon at church and also helped with youth group so I would see him often.
Then the men at the Salvation Army. These group of uncouth individuals came from all kinds of backgrounds. Some rich others poor. But all saw me as an non-street-smart naive 20 something boy. So each taught me their own ways and together I formed my own way of thinking through the various things done. Now I can't mention them all but I will try and share one. An ex-priest was the piano player at two churches! Yes, two churches. We would have Sunday morning service, and then he would leave via van to another church half-hour later.
Since he was a piano player, he would arrive at the center early and eat breakfast with us. He would offer to play. It was here I met him and started working on my piano skills. Later on he befriended me invited me to the 2nd church service. At this location I was offered to play lead worship leader for Sunday service right along side with him.
When I got transferred to the book room at the Salvation Army he was right there with me, until he retired. I learned about from the music, books, and people around me, but I learned even more from this ex-priest than I was even old. My head was always filled with thoughts, questions, answers, and visions of the future.
I have to stop here and ask this question. Are you wondering why I haven't mentioned about a "mother figure"? The answer is quite simple. I didn't have this great mother role model besides those connected to the ones above. Later in life I met friends who helped me along life's journey toward what God has intended for me.
So I will leave you with this. Everyone you meet in your life is there for a reason. It is up to you to figure out why they are there. Are you missing a family member? Spouse? Friend? God is always there right by your side. He never leaves you.
I read these lines in the Bible...."I will never leave you or forsake you". Such a power statement this is! God is wanting us to trust in Him. And then I read another...."His grace is sufficient for you."
Why are we always searching for something? The "who are we and why are we here?" God answered that question in the beginning and He is still answering it today! Look around and what do you see? God's creation from the smallest microbe to the largest elk. God is found in everything. It is us humans that have taken God out of the equation. You might be asking yourself,"why is Jeremy talking about creation and looking for something?" Aren't we all going down some path where there are many choices? And are some of us missing people in our lives we wish were still there? We are a flawed people. Capable of destruction beyond the imagination. But even in this chaotic world, God chooses us to have free will and gives His son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. It is in Jesus Christ that we can find the strength to forgive those who have done us wrong in our family. It is in Jesus Christ we can seek peace during the storms of our life.
By choosing today who you will serve will make the ultimate decisions in your life if this journey will be on solid ground or sinking sand. Remember the devil is out to destroy your life. To take away everything that is precious to you just to have you fall even that one time. We need to take into effect that Jesus Christ is the cure to this plague known as Satan. Jesus took all of his power away on that day when He died for us. The devil's time on Earth is very short.
So learn to praise God when you miss lost family, pray for those relatives who don't know the Lord.
God calls us the "body of Christ" for a reason. It is because we are family. And if we are family then the weight of the world is lifted. In this text I found my peace since I lost most of my immediate family. Time on this Earth is too short to go around "searching" for something you may never get. I had to give up my earthly treasures for treasures stored up in Heaven. Meaning I told the Lord that if I never have someone like my "mom" or finally meet someone I could call my "dad" I would still serve Him. Can you say that today? Will you give Jesus your burdens and your cares? I did and it made the whole difference for me.
Psalm 27:10 (New Living Translation)
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord will hold me close.
Written by: Jeremy M. Caverley