Healing + Restoring
Malachi 4: 5-6 is a promise that is fulfilled in Luke 1: 16-17, a promise that is especially dear to me because it’s a promise I have lived out of for the last 48 years of my life. These verses are the promise God makes to his people that he will heal and restore their families, not just them as individuals. This is a promise to take back what the enemy has stolen from families because of sin.
We all know sin is not self-contained, it never affects only the person committing it. It's like trying to keep water in a cardboard box, it may initially hold it in but eventually it saturates the box, destroys the box and leaks out everywhere. This is what addiction does, it seeps out of its container and saturates everyone around it. This is what happened to my family.
But God, but God intervened 47 years ago and saved the addict, he picked up the saturated box and dried it and reinforced it and made it stronger and better than it was to begin with. And in doing that he dried us off too and restored us as a family. My family and my home became a haven, a safe dwelling that many could run to for help. Never underestimate the ripple effect that your healing and redemption has on the people around you. We became a family of new creations and in turn helped many more be made new. That’s the gospel, that is the Great Commission.
This isn't just a story for addicts and their families, this is hope for every family touched by sin, and let's be honest, that’s every family on the planet. Even Jesus’ family. Jesus was human AND sinless but his parents were only human, so therefore his family struggled with sin just like we do. But their legacy is that they were the family of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, that's what we remember them for. The presence of Jesus in their family determined their legacy.
Likewise, it is the presence of Jesus in our families that determines our legacy. No matter what your past or your families past might look like, there is a chance yet to change it. God our father delights in “turning the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” because this mirrors what he does for us in salvation. He turns his heart toward us causing us, in turn, to turn our hearts toward him. He made the first move that saved my father and my family 48 years ago, God our father always does that because he loves us too much to leave us on our own.