Wednesday, March 30, 2016
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Kissimmee, Florida is right in the middle of some of Florida's most exciting tourist attractions. So, it's usually associated with happy times. But in February of 1998 the headlines were about tragedy in Kissimmee; 38 people killed in the deadliest tornado outbreak in the state's history up to that time. In its lead front page story, USA Today told about one couple who cowered in horror. And it said, "As the house they had saved ten years to buy literally broke apart around them." Then it got worse. "The garage door," the story said, "blew open and tore away. The door into the kitchen opened, and the wind sucked like a vacuum cleaner, pulling their five-year-old daughter, Elissa, away. Her Dad said, 'She was horizontal, and my wife was holding onto her legs. There was all this glass and everything started to disappear, all the furniture, and the insides of the walls. If my wife had let go of Elissa, we wouldn't have been able to find her.'" USA Today said, "But Judy's grip held. And in a few moments, the tornado had passed and Elissa was safe in her arms." Wow!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Holding Onto Your Child In The Storm."
If you're a parent, you may know that feeling because there are unusually stormy times right now in which to be raising a son or daughter. And sometimes you feel like all that's swirling around them threatens to take them away. There are so many mistakes they can make; so many mistakes we can make. There may be days when you feel like you're hanging on for dear life.
Our word for today from the Word of God, though it isn't addressed specifically to parents, is a great parent scripture. 2 Timothy 1:7 says this, "God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline." God doesn't want your parent-heart to be a fearful heart. In fact, He has made this strong promise to parents in Isaiah 54:13, "All your children will be taught of the Lord; and great will be the peace of your children."
You can keep your child from being torn away by the storm. Take time to casually debrief each day with them; helping them interpret what they have experienced that day. Give them boundaries, but with positive reasons-not just boundaries. Focus on today-not the problems of yesterday or the prospects of tomorrow. Make your home an island of sanity in an otherwise insane world, where when they close that door, they know they're safe, not on another battlefield. And each new day give that child back to the God who gave you that child in the first place.
The ultimate secret of holding onto your child in the storm is - in a sense - letting go of your child. After the writer talked about having a spirit of power and love instead of a spirit of fear, he tells how that's possible with so much at stake. Speaking of his personal relationship with Jesus he says, "I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard what (or who) I have entrusted to Him" (2 Timothy 1:12).
There is a relationship that provides a life-anchor-for anyone, but especially for parents raising children in stormy times. If you have begun that personal love-relationship with Jesus, you can commit your precious child to Him and He'll hang onto them as you never could.
But first Jesus has to be hanging onto you. There is nothing like being a parent to make you aware of your need for help, for the power to change, for forgiveness and for inner healing. And Jesus is a Mom's Savior, a Dad's Savior. He died on the cross to pay for all the sinning you and I have ever done, to tear down the wall between God and us and to open up all of God's love and all God's power to you as a Mom or Dad.
If you've never put your personal trust in Jesus Christ to be your Savior, don't wait another day for your sake; for the sake of the child you love. Look, our website is there just to help you know you belong to Him and to know how. Go to ANewStory.com, would you today?
In a world that is so dangerous and so confusing, it isn't easy to keep your child from being taken away by the storm. But you can hang onto your son or daughter if you have the Son of God hanging onto you.