February 2021


Yesterday we had a coming-of-age party for my niece, similar to a bat mitzvah in the Jewish tradition. It was a small family affair with some of the women in our family, and the ages ranged from nearly 80 to barely 3 months. Usually, at these kinds of events there’s an outpouring of learned wisdom and counsel for the young woman who is entering adulthood, but thanks to her older cousin who had planned the event we were encouraged, each one, to focus on her young person and relate to her those things about her character that we value and admire.

She is a remarkable young woman with a true gift of friendship. Honest and generous of heart, she is already a gentle leader among her peers. I truly wish that I could express to you, dear reader, the joy and hope that was experienced as we shared our hearts, gave thanks, and prayed for her to embrace her destiny in Christ.

My own daughter, who served as her nanny for a number of years, related to her the peace that will be hers as she accepts with confidence her identity in Christ. Her mother tearfully expressed gratitude for being entrusted with raising her in faith and acknowledged the blessing of friendship bestowed upon them. Both her grandmothers were charmed with the grace of God upon her young life and grateful to still be learning about the things of God through her example.

Our family is not exempt from challenge, heartache or suffering, but we have come to rely on the faithfulness of God to lead us in the way we should go. The family of God is just that, a family. And the multi-generational tapestry woven by our lives here on planet earth is designed by God to brighten and comfort even as it tells of His great love and brings glory to His name.

My niece’s younger brother is currently learning about his family tree, and he’s been asking his mother recently how various ones in his life “fit into the family tree.” I’m quite taken with this question, because I believe it is a prayer I can voice to Father as I encounter the ones He brings across my path. “Lord, how does this one fit into your family? What is my place in bringing them home?”

Dear reader, I implore you to rehearse the goodness of God to you as you look around at the family He’s given you. It may be a biological family, an adopted family or a spiritual family. It may be a community or neighborhood, a group of co-workers, or a class-room. If we believe He is sovereign, then wherever He has placed you, He did it on purpose. Embrace where you are and when you are in faith that He ordains, in hope that He completes, and with the love of God that binds us all together.

“God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.” (Ephesians 2:19-22 MSG)

Until next week, dear child of God, thrive in Him and be a blessing in His His family.

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