What Happens to Good Intentions?

248Easter weekend arrived, along with our extended family.

We gathered to celebrate the Risen Christ. Celebrate our family–four generations.

Great grandpa said grace and sliced the ham that Great Grandma baked. Aunts and uncles squeezed next to grown children around the dinner table.

Passed hot platters of meat and steaming bowls of vegetables. Piled potato salad on our plates. Poured tea. Passed the rolls.

As the one-year-old great grandchild munched on deviled eggs, the grown “kids” listened to reminisces: “Remember when?” “Back in my day….”

That weekend, old hearts reconnected, new spouses welcomed. Torches passed to the next generation. “Raise up your children in the way they should go.”

When we hugged goodbye, we left with good intentions.

“Let’s get together this summer.”

“I promise to email more often.”

“Call me!”

But I know as life returns to normal, busyness erases our good intentions.

Same thing happens after a spiritual retreat.

Fellowship with other believers. Allow God to speak through His Word. Worship Him through songs. Remember His faithfulness and love.

I can’t get enough of God. I return home with good intentions.

“I promise to pray more.”

“I’ll seek the Lord before I start each day.”

“I’m going to  ____Fill in the blank___”Read my Bible, join a Bible study, witness, Love God more….”

But as life returns to normal, busyness erases my good intentions.

Consequently, I become a slave to worry, fear, anger, malice. Find it difficult to trust God in my circumstances. Struggle to love. Wrestle with God’s will.

Need I say more?

But what a blessing to know when I fail to live up to my good intentions,

I can pray for the good things that God intends for us.

“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:16-20

Do I Only Have Eyes for You?

IMG_6091Holding hands, my daughter and her fiancé stood on the church altar, gazing into each other’s eyes. Their radiant smiles and misty eyes were contagious. As the mother of the bride, I counted the poinsettias that alternated with the tea lights to keep from sobbing with joy.

Clinging to my husband’s hand, I listened as they exchanged wedding vows and made a covenant before God “to have and to hold from this day forth, in sickness and in health…”

I watched as they each took a candle, the same ones the groom’s mother and I had lit earlier, and allowed the two flames to become one on their own candle to signify the unity of their lives.

When the pastor pronounced them “husband and wife” not only were they legally married, they entered into a new relationship that redefined them.

Suddenly, I also had new relationships, a new identity. The groom was now my son-in-law which made me a~~mother-in-love! And two separate genealogies were grafted into one family tree.

Since the wedding, my daughter legally, eagerly, changed her last name to be the same as her Beloved. As the two of them resolve to become one, and identify with each other’s needs, there has been a merging of bank accounts, power of attorney, and dreams. There’s no demand for entitlement, no fear, only love as they travel the same path, together, into tomorrow.

That love and commitment exists between my husband of 33 years and me. Can I say the same for my relationship with God?

Andrew Murray wrote, “The three Persons in the Godhead are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—each one is different from the others. God desires to reveal Himself as a person…and we are called to enter into fellowship with Him.

 God greatly desires this relationship with us, but sin has come between us and our God. Even in Christians who know God, there is often great ignorance and even indifference to this personal relationship of love to God.

People believe that at conversion their sins are forgiven, that God accepts them so that they may go to heaven. They do not realize that, even as a father and his child on earth enjoy being together, so they must have this intimate fellowship with God each day.”    

No demands, no fear.

Enjoying His presence, and resting on His deep, tender love to us even in this moment.