Friday, April 30, 2010

It's How You Finish

Picture is of my older 3 boys boys praying at the alter at church.  :D

I don't know why but I've sure been watching families and thinking a lot about my faith.  I grew up in church.  I love having a church family.  I've been to baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, funeral, seen divorces, etc.  I've seen a lot.  I've been in church since I was in my moms tummy.  Now that I'm 30, I see a lot of end results of families serving God. 

People make mistakes.  Spouses hurt their loved one.  Hurt words are said.  Betrayels regretfully happen.  Friends are torn apart.  Misunderstandings are yet to be forgiven or already have been.  I've seen many kids grow up from babies and now to moms or dads themselves. 

I've watched the difference between parents who throw their hands up in the air and walk away from their faith vs. parents that stay in the long haul no matter what trial they have endured.  One of the huge differences is in the kids.  It's hard to find kids make it for God when their parents have walked away and taken their kids with them.  I get sad to see pics of the kid's lifestyle, or their quotes of bitterness or hatred on Facebook.  They've forgotten what they've learned from their faith, the warnings, and reject God's truth.  Some are broken from decisions or some have even passed on.  A majority I have seen have not chosen to come back to their faith once turning 18 even though they now have the free choice to attend church where they please. 

On the other hand.... I see parents that have stuck it out.  Fought the fight.  They're still going.  They prayed thousands of prayers.  In their tears and on their knees for their kids.  Some kids have spit on them, cursed at them, have been unthankful.  BUT.... .life can be tough.  Can put scars on them.  Their parents have set a foundation of truth and they live it.  Something is so attractive about God when your heart is broken and life has dealt some heavy blows.  Maybe mom and dad weren't so crazy after all.  Maybe they meant well by having me attend Sunday School and services.  Maybe, just maybe, they wanted to give me a HUGE chance to learn everything I could about the God who created me and the One that loves me so much that He sent His son to die for me.  Maybe they didn't want to see me scarred by sins and wrong decisions.  Maybe, just maybe, they wanted to see me spare myself from the scars they experienced.  Scars that can be prevented. 

Some parents, even really good parents, make mistakes.  Some fall.  The quote I hate is "I thought he was a Christian!"  Does anyone really think, seriously, that Christians NEVER make mistakes?  I don't know about you but I go to church because I'm a leaky vessel.  I need God's grace.  I need the encouragement.  I hate the word hypocrite that is used to slam on someone that fell down in their faith.  Do you know what matters?  They got back up.  They didn't continue in their sin.  They brushed off the dirt.  Sure they have a scab, maybe even a scar.  They didn't quit.  They didn't throw their hands up and walk out of the race.  God doesn't forsake you because you fail.  He doesn't walk away from us.  WE walk away from Him. 

Christianity is like a race to the finish.  It doesn't matter how many stumbles you took.  Yes, when you fall you get hurt.  There are consequences.  You hurt ones you love.  You hurt yourself.  It hurts God.  Brush off the dirt from falling and keep going!  There is so much counting on it. Eternity.  Your kids.  Your family watching you.  People are watching you run that race whether or not they are in it.  Isn't it worth it to keep going for your own soul?  For your kids?  For your grandkids?  For your unsaved family?  For friends? 

Nothing....nothing....nothing.... is worth spending an eternity away from God.  The pleasures of this life are SO temporary. 

There have been times I've wanted to quit because of disappointments, betrayels of friends, harsh words, etc.  Then I look at my kids.  My kids are watching me.  I look at their tender hearts.  Ones that are so incredibly moldable at this point and I think, "I gotta keep going."  I may be a little bruised but I have to keep going.  There are so many joys in serving God. So many things I have been spared from.  I'm so grateful to my Savior.

It's definitely a race worth finishing.
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