Sunday was my turn to share the Word to our church. We are now one church-two locations, one here in Portland and one across the beautiful Columbia River in Vancouver, so twice I shared the Word. We are doing a continuing series on Contending in Prayer, and my topic was Contending for Marriage, Home and Family. I love to teach the Word of God...I love it because I know it's true, I know it's powerful, I know it works! I'm overwhelmed with passion for others to know and believe this as well.
Tommy Barnett, pastor of a huge church in Phoenix, Arizona, has a book Called There's a Miracle in Your House. Basically, the premise is that the makings of a miracle are right under our nose. That's what our marriage, our home, our family is...a miracle, a miracle of God's grace.
I'm a miracle. Number 6 out of 7 children from a marriage that was bad, that was broken. Being number 6 has it's advantages. There are things the older ones remember that I was too young to. But I do remember that by the time I was eight Mama spent some time in the state mental hospital. She was so depressed she didn't want to live anymore. By the time I was nine, Daddy was out of there. He had found a new wife with a new family. By the time I was ten an acquaintance in the town next to ours, heard about what happened and made arrangements for Mama, now home, and us kids to have a ride to her church. And grace wrapped us up in the arms of that church family, and loved us, helping us find healing and wholeness.
My marriage is a miracle. From the paragraph above, I'm sure you know that I had some issues, some brokenness, some baggage, that came with me into my marriage. My husband came from a family with it's own issues. Who doesn't in this broken sin-sick world? But we were 19, head over heels in love, and blissfully ignorant about the challenges we would face over the years. Two broken, willful, stubborn people can have some ISSUES! Grace, grace, grace...if we weren't both lovers of Jesus, we would have never stayed around long enough to see the miracle in our house. Thirty three years later, we're both still learning to love God's way...but we're still here, learning it together...GRACE!
Three beautiful girls, miracles in our house, each one. Miracles that we didn't totally screw them up is what they are! I'm sure they could each tell you things we, as their parents, did wrong. Thank goodness for the grace they've extended to us that they don't! And thank God for the grace He extended, to cover our mistakes, our blunders, our sinful failures, as parents.
Grace, grace abundant, grace lavished, grace poured out, on us, on our marriage, on our home, on our family.
As I preached God's Word on Sunday, I looked out and knew not everyone could grasp what I was saying. They are just too deep in the pit, too covered with their stuff, too hopeless about the mess they're in. They don't realize, don't believe, that right in their house is a miracle waiting...God show them, show them what Your grace can do.