Somewhere in the neighborhood of seventeen years ago my parents got divorced. When this happened my family was ripped apart. My older brother went to live with my father, and my younger brother and I went to live with my mother. For the first couple of months we lived in the same city, so even though it was hard, we could still see my dad. Things soon changed, and my mother moved us from Arizona to Louisiana.
As the years went by, we ended up in Florida and dad ended up in Colorado with many moves in between. Part of the split was a wonderful relationship built with my mothers side of the family, but the other part was a horrible split and loss of relationship with my dad’s. Life as I knew it had changed dramatically. Every year that passed, every funeral and wedding that we missed, separated us more and more from the family that we knew and loved. Soon, the people known as the Hances became a mere memory.
No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t feel connected. I would follow through email updates and Facebook, but it just wasn’t the same. As I grew older and realized how much we had missed, my heart was crushed. An anger within me grew, and unfortunately a bit of resentment set in for my parents taking me away from the family that I loved and that loved me. Finally, I accepted that I will never be able to have that relationship with my family again, after all, it has been so long.
As there always is in Christ, there is good news. My Lord is a God of reconciliation. He desires relationships that have been broken to be restored again. Look at the Christ event. Jesus came to redeem us unto Himself and restore the relationship that sin had broken between God and humanity. My God is stronger than any human attempt to break the bond between the relationships that were centered around Him. Mistakes were made, choices that caused pain tore apart a couple of young boys and their loving, and godly family. Even so, God is greater, and He restored that lost relationship.
This Thanksgiving was one of the best that I can remember in my life. My family and I were able to spend five days with the Hance clan that I was ripped away from for so long. Even though I felt distant and like nothing more than a stranger with the same last name, they never forgot, they never stopped loving, and they welcomed me as if I had never left. My children felt welcomed, my wife felt at home, and my heart was healed. The Lord spoke to me many times over the last week, and showed me the strength of His power to not only restore broken relationships, but to rebuild broken hearts. My anger was calmed, my resentment was extinguished, and my pain was healed. My Lord allowed me to forgive and showed me that He never forgot.
Are you a victim of broken relationships? Maybe it was your fault, maybe it wasn’t, but God is bigger than the divide between you and the other. Seek Him, and allow Him to restore the relationship and heal the pain. It is His desire to do so, and His will for it to be done. Will you let Him? Will you let Him heal your relationship with the Father? He is waiting, He is calling, He is willing.