The Heart of a Family
Lord, please give us the families of our dreams; and fill our hearts with Your love for them.
Read Malachi 4:1-6
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Family is a haven in a heartless world” (Christopher Lasch).
Regardless of where we live in this world, the closing thoughts of the Old Testament line up with our experience. Family is all-important to every one of us. But our families are hurting. We have lost the blessing God gave to the first institution he created. To fragmented families of all ages, Malachi, in one final burst of the prophetic utterance, offers comfort beyond our wildest dreams. God will turn the hearts of parents and children toward one another. But how is it possible?
Everyone needs a family. But strife and abandonment disfigure our families beyond recognition. Sometimes, we feel exiled from one another while living under the same roof. We sit with strangers at our dinner tables. In resounding words, the prophet assures us that help is on the way. We cannot fix ourselves. It will take a clear and definite act of God. In fact, a day is coming when the sun of righteousness, the Lord himself, will drip healing from his wings on our family wounds (2). God’s prophetic voice will seize the hearts of children and their parents, and turn them toward one another (6). It is a dream come true, particularly for those of us whose families are troubled and hurting. God turns hearts.
These images resonate in our wounded and wandering hearts. We long for the healing that the prophet describes, although it may seem strange to our experience. But when God sends his Elijah-like envoy (5), even in that final and terrifying day, hardened hearts will melt like wax and pulsate with renewed love that will overlook a multitude of offenses and will forgive seventy times seven.
Ask God to help you with difficult family relationships, and look forward to the day when God will heal your family perfectly.
Lord Jesus, our families have fallen from creation grace. Heal our families, we pray, in Your precious name.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.