Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who is that “Man in the Mirror”?

It has been one of those weeks.  You know the type.  Everything that could possibly go wrong, has.  The kids have all been sick and they seem to be passing it back and forth in some sort of sick, twisted conspiracy.  It started with Katelynn, then Caleb, then Katelynn again, then Nicole, then Caleb again.  Like I said, it has been a struggle.  Nicole, who can’t afford to lose a single pound off of her tiny frame, has lost 3 pounds.  This is exactly what we don’t need as we are fighting, scratching, and clawing to get her to the point where she can start doing the tissue matching with all of the potential kidney donors.  She seems to be climbing out of this deep basement after a long, hard week.  Unfortunately, because of the sickness, she has gotten to the point where the mere sight of food sets off extreme food sensitivities.  It is normally bad…but not this bad L.  The other night she wouldn’t eat dinner and in the heat of the moment we resorted to giving Nicole sausage for dinner, one of her favorites.  That wouldn’t have been so bad had she not had a hotdog for lunch.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  You parents know what I am talking about.  But, alas, it did not work.  With the plate being pushed in front of her nose (in hopes that she would receives some much needed calories) she proceeded to cough, then gag, and then finally release all of the days prior eaten food and drink right out on the floor.

The stress from this week has been incredible.  We know Nicole cannot afford these types of set-backs.  She hasn’t taken her typical medicines like she is supposed to because all she wants to do is gag at the sight and smell of it.  We are afraid that the one month delay on beginning the tissue matching may turn into 2 months.  Then what?  This process hasn’t even started and my patience, what little I have, is wearing incredibly thin.  And with that statement, here comes the weekly spiritual and life lesson that comes with this blog…breaking generational curses.

Have you ever looked yourself in the mirror in one of your tirades and said, “I am acting exactly like my mother” or “I am acting exactly like my father”?  We wonder when it happened.  Hmmm.  When did the metamorphosis finally complete and we become exactly like our parents.  Oh no, we never seem to get (or at least we don’t notice it quite as readily) the wonderful characteristics of our parents.  It is those ugly traits.  The deep rooted character issues.  Can I be so bold as to say the “s – word”…SIN.  That’s right.  How is it the sins of our parents seem to be so easily passed down to us and we pick them right up as if it is a marvelous treasure to be garnered instead of the curse that it is to be shunned?  It is almost like we don’t have a choice in the matter.  It is like there is some sort of law, a spiritual law, at work.  A law as real as gravity.  We can’t see it but we know it is at work because we observe it.  The reality is, there is a law at work.  Actually, it is one of the characteristics of God.  Scripture states in Exodus 34:7 the following words, spoken by the Lord himself, about himself:

Exodus 34:7, "Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation."

What an incredibly profound statement.  The Lord is merciful, forgives sin, makes the guilty pay, and passes the sins of our fathers all the way down to the 3rd and 4th generation.  What?  How can this be?  Why is this just?  Why do the sins of those that have gone before land in my unsuspecting lap only to be lived out over and over and over again.  The same God that created the heavens and the earth and ordered the natural laws also created this spiritual law.  It is as real as gravity, the four seasons, the sun rise each morning, the patterns of the stars and planets, and so on.  Oh so real.  The Lord hates sin and by no means will clear the guilty.  This is why this is just.

Now back to my frustrating week. I am going to make several public confessions right out here for everyone to read and judge.  I am impatient.  I am a control freak.  I am impulsive (in negative ways).  I sometimes provoke me children with excessively high and unrealistic expectations.  Should I go on?  Maybe not.  You get the point.  I am no saint.  In the middle of this frustrating, stressful week…I saw them all.  “Mr. Control”, as a dear friend of mine referred to me as just this week (you know who you are…haha).  Mr. Impatience was right behind Mr. Control.  Snapping at my wife, who dealt with the children much more than me this week.  Provoking my children to wrath.  There is nothing like a control freak trying to control something that can’t be controlled (have you ever tried to get a kid to eat that will only throw up everything you put in front of them).  It was ugly.  Some of these things I was certain I was over.  Conquered!  Or at least I thought I had them under control.  But no, under pressure, there they come again.  Slapping me in the face and reminding me of a very, very, very important truth…there is nothing good in my naturally born man.  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. 

Each of the sins I just pointed out.  Yes, those ugly sins that I battle day in and day out in my flesh, I can look back and see all of them in my parents.  No, I am not blaming them for my sins.  It is my problem.  I think some of these sins started a long, long time ago in my family.  Here is where they stop!  Here is where it all ends!  I will win the battle against these generational curses before my days of walking on this earth are over.  And here is how…do you want to hear some very good news?  I have been born again.  Yes, that is right, born again.  That Bible thumper, fundamentalist, evangelical phrase few people actually understand…”born again”…is the best news that anyone can hear.  We picture a pastor pounding on a pulpit saying “you must be born again” (the smoke pouring up between the pews as he points your direction straight to Hell) but we rarely picture the Son of God saying it.  John 3 states:

 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]

What does this mean?  It means that just as I was born a natural man, from my earthly parents, it is possible to be “born again” from my heavenly Father.  And just as I inherited from my parents the sinful, earthly nature that brings about these sins I inherent from my heavenly Father His nature.  And the real wonderful news is that the divine nature that works in me from my heavenly Father will overcome my sinful, earthly nature.  Of course, this assumes that I actually submit myself to His will and walk according to His Spirit.

I don’t want to see the earthly, sinful Brian again that was present this week in the Miller household.  I want to see the heavenly, Spirit guided Brian.  Please pray for me during these trying times that I will submit myself to the will of God.  This process of Nicole’s kidney transplant is going to be a real test.  With the Lord’s help, I will make it through.

Unforgiveness, bitterness, discontentment, anger, and so on are the conduit in our lives that allow the sins of our parents to be lived out in our life.  Fill in the blank for your own life.  What are you holding onto that permits the sins of your parents to work its destruction in your life?  Here’s the nuts and bolts…you cannot overcome this on your own.  There is nothing in your natural man that will enable you to win this battle.  That is like using gasoline to try and put out a fire.  It won’t work.  Submit yourself to the will of God, be born again through the power of His Son, and receive His divine nature.  This alone is the solution to your problem…and mine.

Romans 7:21-25, 8:1-2
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin. 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.

For His Glory,

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