We love because He first loved us. - 1 John 4:19
I remember that night like it was yesterday. My eight-year-old self was tucked quietly in bed, but the day's events played through my mind and kept me from sleep. I was riding in the GoCart with my oldest brother when it happened. A combination of a seatbelt that was a little too loose and a turn that was made a little too quickly, resulted in me face down on the pavement, bruises and scratches everywhere. I wailed and my brother promptly shh'd me so that the neighbors wouldn’t hear.
As I lay awake, the memories taking on a life of their own, a shadow emerged through the strands of beads that hung from my doorframe. My brother must’ve known I was growing frustrated with myself as he said, “Can’t sleep?” I nodded my head quickly and he sat down on at the foot of my bed. He began to tell me that Jesus had watched over me that day, and that I didn’t have to worry because He would never leave me. He then told me to look up at the ceiling. The way our fans were made caused a shadow of an ichthus (“Jesus fish”) symbol to appear on my ceiling when the lights were off. He explained that, whenever I was scared or felt alone, all I had to do was look up at the ceiling and remember that I was never alone.
I saw Jesus in my brother that day. And I’ve seen Him in every member of my family, throughout the course of my entire life. My family isn’t perfect. We are messy. We yell at each other sometimes, and we say things we do not mean. But we wouldn’t be complete without one another. Our earthly families are small scale examples of the Kingdom. They are imperfect and diverse and complicated. But they are beautiful and they are necessary. Just like each member of a family brings a different need to the table, each one of us brings a different gifting to the Kingdom. God knew there would be days when we needed to see Him, so He gave us one another and called it “family.”
1. Think about your family. What are some ways they show you Jesus through their actions?
2. If your family members aren’t believers, what are some ways that you could show them Jesus?
3. Why do you think that it is important for us to have a literal family? A family in Christ?
Father, thank You for family. Thank You for blessing us with people in our lives who love us unconditionally and are our biggest supporters. Lord, if there are any of us who struggle with our family members, or feel disappointed by them, help us to find peace and that love in You alone. Equip us to glorify You and share Your love with our families. We love You, Lord.