Yesterday Brendan and I went to visit a friend who is a prisoner, Brendan’s mother who is 93, and another man who is principal of a school.
The first snow was falling as we drove early to the prison. Our friend was glad to see us. He was cheerful and encouraged us to keep on looking after our family. His wife and all but one of his children do not visit him. He realises what he has lost because of his selfishness. He encouraged us and we encouraged him. He is sure of God’s forgiveness and love and prays for his family. He is hoping for restoration.
Brendan’s mother is settling home after a few days in hospital. Despite her weakness she blessed us with Christmas gifts for our family. She has lived a long life and has seen her children’s children’s children, all sixteen of them. She was widowed young, reared her boys and lived humbly. She is leaving behind a good legacy. She has borne good fruit.
The principal of a school invited us to pray with him. Two hundred and twenty five young children attend the school. Jesus said “Let the little children come to me for such is the kingdom of heaven.” We encouraged him and prayed for wisdom for his task in overseeing forty staff and all those pupils. I always give thanks to God for the school teachers who cared for and taught my children. I was reassured they were being well looked after, while I was busy with my younger children.
Teachers do a great job, but the parents can give the best example to their children. How we live our lives as parents affects our children. We do not get to be selfish for long as we rear our children. One of my favourite verses in Exodus 20 says God promises to bless us to the thousandth generation of those who love The Lord but curses come upon our children to the fourth generation if we disobey God. What choice will you make?
But I believe their is hope for the prisoner and his family. Jesus forgives our sins and promises to restore all that is lost. Over and over in the bible we read about the children of Israel. When they were far away from God because of their sins He always had mercy and restored them. When I was feeling hopeless and about to die of cancer, God sent his healing and restored me. There is hope.
Brendan and I were in Canada and Slovakia recently sharing this hope with many people. God wants to restore families. Jesus shed his Precious Blood to pay the price for our wrongdoing and our forefathers’ wrongdoing. You can go free from guilt and shame. Do not blame, just forgive. And God will restore that which has been lost.
May God bless you and your family in this season of good will.