|ID 54976085 © Fabiana Ponzi | Dreamstime.com|
- Extended family is trying to make sense out of the senseless. -- So often our family members act out of a convoluted or misguided love for us. They want to fix our perceived "problem" and make it better for us. This causes them to say and do some super crazy things in the process. We must find a way to love them for loving us, even if they are unwittingly hurting us in the process. Try to find the good parts of these family members in spite of their clumsy shortcomings.
- Extended family doesn't know what they don't know. -- They may taunt or accuse like a Peninnah, but if they knew what fools they sounded like, they would be really embarrassed. Just like Peninnah had no inkling of God's big picture, those who say cruel things to us have no true vision of the eternal either. Their comments are made of complete ignorance, and just as Hannah was eventually vindicated, so will we.
- Just as God was enough for Hannah, He is enough for us as well. -- Elkanah tried to comfort the weeping Hannah asking if his love wasn't worth more than 10 sons to her. The fact is that no human being is enough to fill the wounded places of our hearts. The good news is that God IS. He gives us the strength and perseverance to get through the wounds caused by others. With that in mind, it is IMPERATIVE to PRAY before we go to a family event, so we are adequately equipped for "battle." Prayers like, "Lord, put the right words in my mouth when I am confronted by others," or "God, help me love my family as much as You love them," can really keep us connected to our Source of help when we walk into parties or celebrations. It is also critical to put on your "battle gear" by praying the full armor of God from Ephesians 6:10-18. This intentional reminder can also be a mental exercise to envision equipping yourself for every situation you may face.