It has been a sort-of whirlwind week. First, we discover a large hornet’s nest under the eaves of the house. How do you get rid of it without getting yourself or anyone else stung?
Then, a bat got into the house. My wife and kids are scared. There is a possibility of some really serious diseases. I have yet found a way to catch a flying bat, so I whacked it with a badminton racket. This always leaves me a little depressed. Even bats has their place in God’s world. And it would probably have preferred to not be in my house either.
Then, my wife bought a new refrigerator. There was a circus getting it home. (We bought it on clearance, so the store would not deliver it, even if we paid for delivery. Figure that out.) The circus continued getting it into the house. House doorways were too narrow, so we had to take the frig doors off. Swapping food. Getting the old one out. It still worked, so we found a home for it.
Finally, a couple we know and love are thinking of calling it quits. And that is really, really sad. So, we talked, listened and prayed. There was no abuse or infidelity. There were no habits or practices that either had that were bad. No money issues. No children issues. No issues that one usually hears about.
The husband is really sad and really dissatisfied with life. Life and his marriage relationship wasn’t what he expected. It doesn’t seem worth carrying on in a limbo status for 20-30 years.
And people say, “Good relationships require work. You work through the problems. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” And he says, “Yea, I know. But in between the negatives, there should be some positives.”
He wasn’t very good at explaining anything, except life and marriage wasn’t as expected. The things he needed\wanted\expected were not being met.
(NOTE: No decision has been made. They are going to try and get some help. I know we would appreciate prayer for them, even if they don’t know what they want.)
Of course, all the things people say to fix the problem are said. Some of them are clichés. The reason they are cliché is not because they are not true. It is because they have been so often they lose impact. I don’t know what this says about me. I don’t know if it is good\bad. (I do know and accept that this is the way God designed me. If fills a place in his purposes. And, therefore, it is good. And I also know and accept that I am broken. I don’t work or react the way I should. And this is not good.) But I start wondering about those things.
“Only God can meet your needs.”
- People don’t read\prayer\meditate enough?
- People don’t worship enough?
- People don’t have enough faith?
- People put other things first?
- People don’t understand the way this is supposed to work correctly?
- People are tied to other things and other people?
“Happiness comes from our circumstances. Joy comes from our relationship with God.”
Only too true. When we depend on our circumstances or our situation to fulfill us, we will be forever caught on a roller coaster. And our time at the top will be all too short, before we go roaring into the bottom. But joy certainly seems to be in short supply. We should be living above and beyond our circumstances. All too often, our circumstances drag us around by the nose. A love relationship with our Father should hold us up. It should give us courage and power to continue. It should give us identity, place and worth. So, why is there so little joy? Because we don’t know our Father well enough? (And we don’t, because of that list above.)
I’m sure part of the reason is because we have an enemy. Any one of us could be the next “Peter” or the next “Paul.” So, he works to keep us guessing, to keep us miserable. If our hearts are focused on our misery, we can’t pursue those things we were designed for.
Maybe, part of it is that we developed into a time and people where knowing is what is important, and doing not so much. We know we should be close to God. We know we should live a life of joy, faith and love. Yet, how do we get there?
We hear in the news too many examples of bad fathers. How did they become bad fathers. “Fathering” is not taught; it is caught. If the father is absent, negligent or aloof, that’s what sons learn. That’s the sort of fathers they become.
Jesus walked with his disciples, so they caught who he was, and how he lived. Maybe people don’t know how to live in faith, joy and love, because we haven’t walked with anyone who showed us how.
Maybe, Jesus walked with his disciples because knowing our Father, being a father, being a husband, living in any relationship, and dealing with life’s messes cannot be taught. They can only be caught.