Sunday, May 4, 2014

Smooth Edges

I love my Edge family. The first time or two I was called Mrs. Edge, I looked around for Kelly's mom or grandmother. Just as I grew more and more comfortable with my new last name, I've also been actively learning my true identity...or rather, who I am in Christ. My name changed from child of this world to child of the One True King, and from sinner to saved, and from one hopeless to one filled with confident hope, and also from a soul who was doubting and skeptical to a soul who is sanctified and chosen.

My Daddy in law, who is a great leader in our family, probably didn't realize the wonderful implications of never saying "step-" or "half-" in (what our modern times call) a blended family. We are all, simply, family. I experienced this love from a family in my own home as a child, and now in adulthood with a wonderfully extended family. I'm so thankful that the Edge's include family as family, with no connotations that might imply someone is "less than" part of us.

The examples I've seen from the men in our family, stepping up to lead and guide, reflect the love and tender-hearted mercy of our Heavenly Father. I'm so very thankful for godly men, godly families, and the opportunity each and every person has to be a child of God--regardless of the dysfunction in their own family or circumstances.

You may sense the battle all around. You may be in a valley or on the mountaintop today. There is strength to be seized wherever you might be right now. If it's people trouble, remember 1 John 4:4 says, "But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world." (New Living Translation) If it's more of the trouble in your own mind that you seem to create no matter who or what is going on around you, remember Romans 12:2--"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

God gives us open doors and moments of opportunity. We choose what to do with them, and if we'll try to do it in our own strength (which will become very frustrating.) We continually, then completely, learn to lean on, rely on, and trust in God. He is a Good Father. We can each choose to let Him love us into wholeness, as He planned long ago, through the love and tender-hearted mercy we receive from His Son Jesus.

"We know that God's children do not make a practice of sinning, for God's Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life." (1 John 5:18-20, NLT)

I thank God for family. I'm doubly blessed to have been raised in a loving, nurturing home, and welcomed into a great, loving family as an adult. My rough edges are still being smoothed out by the sandpaper of life---difficult relationships, low valleys, enemy attacks, busy schedules, out of balance priorities, etc. It's awesome to think of all believers everywhere united in Christ, each with God-given strength to make the most of these days. And one day, we shall all be with our more tears, no more inconsistency, no more battle with sin. "So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God's holy people. You are members of God's family." (Ephesians 2:19, NLT) Amen!! That's something to shout about! :)