Growing up in South Africa, I mostly read from an Afrikaans Bible. The above verse in the AFR 83 Translation has always been one of my favourites, and the past week or two it’s constantly been in my thoughts. In Afrikaans the above verse reads as follows (own translation): ‘A beautiful part has been measured off for me; what I have received is lovely to me`. The NASB, used above, is the closest I could find to match the Afrikaans Bible.
Whilst preparing for a family dinner party at our home, the repetition of Psalm 16:6 shifted my attention to the people in my life - specifically my close family, as well as my husband’s, since we were expecting them all over for our dinner.
So often we hear of family feuds and differences of opinion that cause so much friction and conflict. It’s as if we think we have the right to be more judgmental and critical towards the people closest to us. The familiarity sometimes brings about a kind of boldness to speak out, and often causes a lot of hurt and rejection. Many times the conflict goes unresolved and families actually break up over differences that could be resolved if people were just able to put their own agendas away.
My heart - in preparation for the dinner - wanted to serve and bless the people in my life. Even though there are also differences in our family, I longed for Jesus’ heart during this precious time and celebration. There can be no place for criticism when we focus on Christ’s love and choose to serve from a heart of thankfulness for all He has blessed us with.
The people in our lives, especially family, are given to us by God. They’re all part of our inheritance and form part of the ‘lines that have fallen for us’. What are we doing with this? Are we complaining over small differences and criticising each other? Are we coming together with judgmental hearts and being over-sensitive? The Bible says in Matthew 15:18 – ‘But the words you speak come from the heart – that’s what defiles you’ (NLT).
Unfortunately we’re often deeply hurt by our own families, and even suffer rejection. But in the end we’re all responsible for our own attitudes and reactions. We have a choice in what we do with the hurts that come into our lives. Jesus longs for us to bring it all to Him so He can restore our broken hearts.
He’s patient and loving – He’s waiting for each one of us and understands us better than we realise. So for each person reading this who doesn’t have a loving family, and who’s hurting, Jesus is waiting for you to turn to Him. He’ll embrace you and walk with you through your road to His healing and restoration. He’s closer than family and friends.
So let’s choose to focus on being thankful towards our heavenly Father for all He’s blessed us with. If we start off by focussing just on the smallest blessings, a change begins to take place in our hearts. Our attitude changes, regardless of the people around us. It’s actually all about our relationship with our Father. What follows - our reactions and attitudes - comes from this place of rest, love and peace.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for all the blessings in my life. Thank You for Your love, care and blessings. Today I choose to live from a heart of thankfulness. Please help me to look at life from Your perspective and create in me a new heart, O Lord. Open my eyes to the beauty You’ve placed in my life. Amen.
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