Family Hardship at Thanksgiving

Relationships are hard.

And next Thursday you may be breaking bread with people you don’t want to be around. People in your own family.

You may have to pass a piece of pumpkin pie to a person who has deeply hurt you, offended you or you just flat out don’t like.

Thanksgiving may not mean turkey and dressing to you. It may mean family drama, an overbearing mother, deep tension or awkward silence.

Family relationships have plopped me smack dab into a counseling chair.

I know it is hard.

I am thankful to the Lord to say He has met me in the hardship and brought great healing.

But it takes time. And prayer.

And dying to self.

It takes obedience to God’s Word.

Healing takes obedience to love each other deeply, ABOVE ALL. 1 Peter 4:8a

Above all the hurtful words. Above all the years of building tension. Above all of the unmet expectations. Above all of the mistakes. Above all the wrong done to you.

Love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sin. 1 Peter 4:8b

We can’t pick and choose who we break bread with next Thursday.

The Lord chose for us.

In all of His great Sovereignty, God has placed our table setting exactly where we need to be.

A Divine seating arrangement.

For our good. For our growth.

I can share openly now, that I struggled for years with my sister’s husband.

He didn’t like me. I didn’t like him.

You’ve never met two people more opposite.

In every way.

But after a little counseling, a lot of prayer and a spirit of wisdom concerning our relationship, I can now move towards the holidays…looking forward to seeing him. Hugging him. Telling him we love him. Telling him how thankful I am for him.

Did God change him?


But the greatest change happened in me.

Jesus happened in me.

Jesus loves this man. He loves my brother-in-law, deeply. Above all.

Jesus died for this man.

That is reason enough for me to love him. Deeply.

God’s great love covered all his sin.

It covers all my sin.

God’s great love covers all of your sin.

This Thanksgiving forgive.

And love.


This is my command: Love each other. John 15:17

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