Men, God has a way of showing us that we don’t know as much as we think we do. And He will certainly act when we need to be shown that we don’t know better than He does.
That’s what happened to King Nebuchadnezzar, who had to learn a serious lesson in humility. Talk about a severe act of mercy: For seven years, this once proud king was struck with a mental illness that caused him to roam the pastures outside the palace and chew grass like a cow. After paying the price for his pride, the once self-sufficient and self-centered king said: ‘Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble’ (Daniel 4:37). In this confession, three things are key for me: the words ‘everything,’ and ‘all,’ and the phrase ‘his ways.’
These words speak to the king’s new understanding of God’s control and to the choice he wants each of us to make: God’s way or my way. Too often we neglect to ask God, ‘How do you want me to handle this?’ or ‘What does God’s Word call me to do in this?’ How should I respond to this situation in a manner consistent with God’s word?
The reasons for not asking these questions boil down to one of two issues: ignorance or arrogance. And neither is something I’d recommend. Men, neither will benefit you, and both carry very high price tags.
Men, I want to share just five simple thoughts about families with you. Please listen to them closely. Let them be food for your thought, reflection, and prayer as you go about your business today.
1) Families form people.
2) The most crucially formative relationship for a man is his relationship with his father.
3) A man will spend decades of his life trying to compensate for gaps in his relationship with his dad. And until genuine healing occurs, these attempts to compensate will only draw him into destructive lifestyles, habits, addictions, and relationships.
4) Every man must face and deal directly with the wounds that prevent his progress.
5) Every man courageous enough to let God touch these so-called ‘father wounds’ can find healing and renewal.
Men, our heavenly Father will get to the root causes of our thoughts and actions if we’ll only stop running, stop compensating, and open ourselves in trust to Him to do so. His penetrating gaze can search even the most painful areas of our lives; His gracious touch is what we need in order to heal’there are simply no substitutes; and that touch will leave us as men who intimately know what redemption means’men who are prepared to be ‘wounded healers’ in the lives of others.
Think about these. Pray about them. Taste of the Lord and see that He is good.
Men, God doesn’t have a giant roulette wheel in the sky that determines our destiny. Nether are we subject to fate. Our lives are governed and guided by the merciful will of God, and His plan for us is one of blessing.
Blessing, of course, doesn’t mean the absence of suffering or conflict. For God brings these events and circumstances into our lives in order to facilitate growth and maturity. God will certainly give us what we need amidst them, and what He wants to give us most is the blessing of Himself. He longs for each of us to know intimately that a loving relationship with Him is sweeter, and more valuable, than anything else possible.
As God restores our souls, He also purifies our desires. He wants us to stop taking detours into the world’s glittering paths of possessions, power, and superficial pleasure. He wants us to stay on course and continue to move toward Him.
The narrow path leads us to Living Water’pure and deeply satisfying to our thirsty souls. I know this from experience. Even though the refining process is marked by periods of pain, I have found that knowing God is the only thing in the world that I truly desire. When my heart is right with Him, all of my other joys will follow. This, then, is my prayer for you. That you will walk the narrow path that leads to the Living Water.