What a week we’ve had! Tackling power-packed concepts of faith — learning that we are a MASTERPIECE in God’s hands and we — you and I — are His finest work. And here today, we read we are ADOPTED as His children when we place our faith in Jesus. Amazing!!
A little easier said than done sometimes though, right?
In reading Chapter 4, there were two quotes that kept popping out at me. This first one is this:
“People live out of either the hurt they feel or the healing Jesus provides. Your parents will never be perfect. And you will never be a perfect parent. But there is a perfect God who, over time, will bring healing to hurtful circumstances.”~Derwin L. Gray, “Limitless Life”
There is a PERFECT God. Who will bring healing! Does that bring you as much incredible comfort as it does me?
At the same time, I am fully aware that the ramifications of NOT choosing healing from our abandonment issues and “daddy wounds” are huge. Pastor Derwin talks about multiple areas where those who grow up in a fatherless home are struggling (pp. 75-76 of the paperback):
- There’s a greater risk of abusing drugs and alcohol and an increase in behavioral disorders.
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
- 85% of all youth in prisons grew up in fatherless homes.
- Daughters of single parents are 2.1 times more likely to have children during their teenage years than are daughters from intact families.
Here’s the second quote from Chapter 4 that kept getting stuck in my brain (pp. 71-72 in the paperback):
“Through years of discipleship and mentoring others, I have learned that the people who manage to climb out of emotional quicksand are those who intentionally stop the cruel, destructive habit of revisiting in their minds the events or the people who have hurt them. Instead, by an act of faith, they start the soul-healing habit of replaying in their minds the message that Jesus loves them, cares for them, was wounded for them, died to forgive them, and now makes His home in their hearts to live His beautiful life through them.”
~ Derwin L. Gray, “Limitless Life”
Did you catch that? In order to thrive despite the pain of their past abandonment, by an act of faith they intentionally stop the destruction and instead, rebuild new habits that focus on Jesus. Jesus Christ is the master re-builder!
Perhaps you’re wondering how to do that? It starts by recognizing the issues are real — we can’t pretend these wounds aren’t there. Instead, it’s time for us to stitch another new label on our lives: “ADOPTED.” (For more specifics on how we are adopted into God’s family through our relationship with Jesus Christ, read 1 John 3:1; Galatians 4:5-6; Ephesians 1:5-6; John 1:12; and Romans 8:14-17.)
As Pastor Derwin writes, the key to taking on the new label of of “Adopted” is in the love God pours over us as His children:
The Keys to the New Label, “Adopted”:
Key 1: Embrace the Friendship of God
Key 2: Accept and Imitate the Forgiveness of God
Key 3: Accept the Adopting Love of God
Y’all, these are HUGE concepts of the faith. HUGE.
Each one of these keys deserves far, far more than one little blog post could have time to share. However, Pastor Derwin has given us some phenomenal fodder to stir our hearts — and I also want to give you the freedom to let these thoughts fully marinate in your hearts and minds during the next several months (if not years).
Additionally, I want to encourage you with the idea that sometimes, God can re-purpose what’s been abandoned and adapt it for future glory.
Recently, I had a chance to re-visit a rather unique urban park in New York City, called the High Line. It was a bustling railway one story above street level for decades and very active in the 1930s and 40s. But as the trucking industry grew and expanded, there was less of a need for railroads and the track was abandoned in the 1960s.
However, everything changed in 1999 when a group of folks began to dream and envision what an abandoned park might look like if it could be re-purposed and re-built there.
I think you’ll be amazed at what it has become since 2009, in this video:
What to do:
If you haven’t already, read Chapter 4 of Limitless Life.
If you haven’t already, take a look at the “Hands” section at the end of Ch. 4, where Pastor Derwin encourages us to reach out to people we need to forgive. Some possible suggestions include: write a letter, make a phone call, send a text or extend an invitation.
We want to hear from you:
Today, June 6, marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, a major turning point in World War II in freeing all of Europe from enemy territory. What would it look like if you made today your personal “Operation Overlord” (the code word for the Allied invasion at Normandy) and let the Lord of the Universe take over, removing destructive habits, with constructive new thoughts about how much your Heavenly Papa loves you?
What’s one thing you could do today that might move you in that direction? We’d love to know!