A Good Story Needs Meaningful Relationships

… those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.   (Isaiah 40:31)

Theme: God Has a Plan

A Good Story Requires Meaningful Relationships

The story of our lives grows from the basic need to learn how to survive in this world, and the need to live a life with meaning and purpose which grows out of a more profound sense of purpose and meaning. A good story involves relationships. What is life without relationships?

On a flight from Winnipeg to Calgary in June, a young man, noticeably “under the influence” made his way into the seat next to me.  His condition contributed to his talkative nature, but he was cheerful and friendly. He introduced himself immediately, asking me to guess how old he was. I guessed 32 years old, but he said he was 28, saying ‘Hmmm’ as he nodded his head. He said he’d been living a rough life but how excited he was to be going home to his family.  So we chatted about his job on a construction site and the wild side of it all which he agreed he had succumbed to. Then he began to soften and talked openly about the emptiness he felt. He wanted to have a better life, and he was going home to the coast to be with his family for a break. I don’t know how much of a break it would end up being because that type of life is the story from which he came. He was introduced to that life by his family members. My heart went out to him. He listened as I shared with him how my journey has intersected with God all my life, but in my present circumstances, I have been assured that his life has purpose and meaning and he can find it also in a relationship with God. I directed him to where he could go to begin his search.  As we parted ways, I said, “You could be my son.” We hugged, and he smiled and said, “Goodbye, Mom.’  As I remember him, I pray for him.

“I have come to the conclusion that it’s harder to find logic in life if there is no God.”

People are looking for reason and logic to explain life and its meaning. Ravi Zacharias, a Christian apologist, scholar, and author of a new book, “The Logic of God – 52 Devotions For The Heart and Mind” says “I have come to the conclusion that it’s harder to find logic in life if there is no God.” He goes on to say that the questions that people used to ask about the existence of God are being replaced today by existential questions that ask why we exist.  Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? As the younger generation loses their soul to the digital world and meaningless relationships on social media platforms, their inner emptiness is creating a hole that begs an answer. (Paraphrased)

Watch this short video of Ravi speaking on this subject here.

Many years ago, I read the first line in Psalm 68:6 “God sets the solitary in families.” (KJV, the NIV uses ‘lonely’ for the word ‘solitary.’)  The message my heart delivered to my head when I read that was not incidental; it was for me a critical message not to be ignored but called for my attention to do what I needed to do.  I felt that I needed to pay considerably more attention to the relationship needs of a couple of members in my birth family who are or were single.  “Are you willing to pay the price,” Marlo asked when I told him about it.  I knew what he meant. This was not a decision to make without considering everything it might mean for my family and me.

I already was carrying a demanding schedule, and something would have give to allow me to pay attention to those family members.  What was I going to give up? Was it my husband and children? No, that wasn’t going to work.  So did I have a plan? No, but I had to create one. Once I did that, I received the support I needed to carry it out and am so grateful for my family who embraced the shared opportunity to grow together with open and generous hearts.   Through it all, we have been enriched through the stories that now intertwine each of our lives, and there are no regrets.

Family members are called first to embrace those who are closest to us in family relationships. For some families, it’s not even possible or realistic for this to happen. But for families that open their hearts and heed the call, the potential for personal growth and fulfillment is unlimited.

Do you know of someone who lives their daily lives so wrapped up in the digital world, that if they needed help to get out of a jam, they wouldn’t have a friend around that could help them? Relationships that we invest in with our time, energy and resources have the power to transform our lives. But for relationships to work in a healthy way a balancing act is needed between the giving and receiving.  Daily effort and sincere humility are required, but the rewards of relationship are significant!

Generations who have gone before us have paved the way for us by their example. We’ve taught our children their rich heritage (relationships) and have asked our children that they extract the best out of the lives lived before them, including the lives of the families they have married into, in order to be able to teach the same to their own children and grandchildren.

None of us have lived a perfect life. We’ve all made mistakes, and said and done things we are ashamed of or regret. But none of it can separate us from the love of God.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? – Romans 8:35

 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39

 How are you doing at finishing your personal story? Have you given up?  Are you stuck?  Where do you need to refocus your life to impact others?  There’s so much left to be written.  Get back on track and continue your story.  You’re not finished yet!

Health Update:

Good News!

  • a CAT scan I had this week shows significant improvement by way of measured results in the effectiveness of the chemotherapy treatment
  • I feel amazingly well, and I have completed 5 of 6 treatments
  • my appetite is good – no there’s no nausea – and I have sufficient energy to carry on a near-normal day

Prayer Needs:

  • continue to pray for the on-going communication issues between care providers
  • pray for God’s timing regarding the surgery date. It appears that it will be delayed due to high demand for surgery time in Vancouver. This means I must continue with chemotherapy treatment until I am called. I need God’s help to be patient for His timing.
  • the increased concern this week after small blood clots were discovered in my lung. A blood thinner medication has been added to my daily regimen to prevent the development of new and larger clots.

Thank you all for your prayers. I live every day knowing that it by your prayers that I am able to continue each day living with the felt presence of God so close around me. I know that He is delivering to me what I need because of your faithfulness to pray.

As God answers prayers for my physical needs that allows me the ability to continue doing the work He is calling me to do. So the rewards are great because I am being given the physical and spiritual strength to get up every day and pursue my calling!

I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do. Ephesians 1:17 (MSG)