Judy and I live an intentional contemplative lifestyle here on the lake. I call ourselves a “monk and a nun.” A monk has been described as someone who lives on the edge of the culture, but for the sake of the culture, acting as a kind of watchmen. Their call is to speak into the culture, giving a warning, while calling people back to God.
Well, July interrupts our contemplative life, since July is “family time” here at Canaan’s Rest. We have just come off a solid month of family. It has been a rich and rewarding time for Judy and I. We are blest that our three children and their families desire to come to the lake. We will be reflecting for sometime on what we learned about our family dynamics and our own interaction with our unique family dynamic. There is a lot to “chew on.”
Many years ago when I was struggling with the prospect of living in a contemplative place on the lake, Psalm 37 became an anchor as I trusted God, during a time of significant doubt (I went into a minor depression). The land we live on was a gift from my Father-in-law. I have always considered it an special inheritance. My prayer is that I can continue to enrich the inheritance. Here are a couple of promises from Ps 37 that have been an anchor for me. “The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever (29) and “Hope in the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it (34). For me this past month was a manifestation of my family enjoying the inheritance.
Not only is land an inheritance but so is family. “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.” (Ps 127:3-5). Judy and I had wonderful times of family interaction for a month. We were able to experience first hand the heritage of the Lord that has been give to us. Our “quiver is full.”
Now I mention my July experience for three reasons. First, be aware of your inheritance. Yes we have the greatest inheritance in being adopted into God’s family. But each of us have an inheritance by means of what has been passed down to us from others. Whether your background was positive or negative, you have received good from others. Celebrate that goodness and rejoice in it. Never forget to be thankful for the inheritance God has given you both materially and spiritually.
Second, remember that your children are an inheritance from the Lord. Outside of our inhertiance as children of God, they are our greatest inheritance. You have been entrusted with the joy and stewardship of raising children in the presence of the Lord. Some of you are grandfathers as well. Rejoice in what God has given to you in your family. While family relationships may not always be ideal, the fact of the matter remains, you have been given an inheritance. Like I have to do daily – ask God for grace and mercy to live within the inheritance of family
Thirdly, give you best spiritual energy and emotional support to your children and grandchildren. There were days in July when I had to just get quiet and reach out for emotional and spiritual energy to “be present” to my family. Each of us has a different dynamic that we have inherited. Next time you are with extended family, take a look around. That is your family inheritance. It has it own unique dynamic. Accept what is there. These are people that God has sovereignly, put in your life. Ask he to teach you how to grow through these relationships. You will be surprised at how much you will learn, when you can admit, as I have to do, that I fail to “be there” and need help. Sometimes you literally have to cry out to Jesus for help. I promise you that you will grow. Nothing helps you grow more then being open and caring in family relationships.