What If?

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Despite your circumstances, no matter how dreadful they seem, God is with you. Turn to Him for the strength to make it.

Today’s Reading:  Psalm 43-45; Acts 27:27-44

And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 1 Corinthians 7:13-14

How many times do we, as adults, reflect upon our childhoods and wonder "what if?" What if my Christian mom would have left my non-Christian dad? Thoughts of my childhood bring a mixture of emotions. Growing up in a home with a father who did not know or believe in Jesus Christ was hard, even in the best of times. I felt the tensions, had fears, and though I did not understand everything, I knew we were in a battle. My mom fought one of those battles every Sunday, but somehow she persevered to get herself and two kids to church. Those mornings irritated and angered my dad. I now realize just how serious those battles were, for the warfare is not against flesh and blood but against spirits and principalities (Ephesians 6:12). But through His power and love, God gave my mother the strength to stay with my father. And because of the foundation my mother laid in the Lord, I learned to turn to God for help at a young age. God heard my prayers and I learned to trust in His protection, even in the midst of oppression.                                                       

Just recently, my mom and I talked about her relationship with my dad. I am so thankful she stayed with him. Paul says that the "unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife" and that the "children would be unclean, but now they are holy." God honors our desire to keep the commitment we make with our spouses and God knows that the children need both parents together. Even if only one parent knows the Lord, God blesses the home. Besides, we never know when the Holy Spirit will change the heart of the unsaved parent. As a child, I prayed every night for my dad "to be saved," and though he never went to church, my mom remembers the night he prayed the sinner's prayer after watching Billy Graham. He died soon after. We may not understand why God allows certain situations to be so painful and hard for so long, but He honors our desire to please Him over ourselves. What if my mother had chosen to leave my father? Yes, my life would have been different but I am so thankful that my mother stayed.

God gave us His strength when we were weak. God gave us hope when we despaired. Because of those years, I learned to cry out to God and depend on Him at a young age. I learned invaluable lessons that have shaped my faith today. Despite your circumstances, no matter how dreadful they seem, God is with you. Turn to Him for the strength to make it.

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