Tuesday, October 18, 2011


From Susan Hillis:

The Story of the Links

I have received great hope and comfort and direction from  the Lord over the past 8 months or so through this simple illustration.  It is one that I have drawn on the back of numerous napkins at restaurants and on our own family white board at home several times, to remind us all of where we are going.  So here is the story of the links, which I feel the Lord revealed to my mind's eye.  These links have been such a source of hope and encouragement to me.  I pray they are to you as well!
I am Eternally Linked to Him
This first link, link 1 is a vertical link connecting me to the Lord and the Lord to me.  He has unconditionally and eternally 'hooked' Himself to me and me to Hiim, in a bond of steadfast, enduring love.  The link is like a giant bungee link, strong enough to literaly sustain my weight if I hang onto the bottom of it. "I have loved you with an everlasting love." (Jere 31:3).  The secret to me continuing in grace and love is for me to determine to keep this link strong.  To "Look up," as Paul did when he received his sight.

I am Linked to My Child

Now we get to link 2.  It is a horizontal link, connecting me to my child.  It is a consequence of link 1.  That is, a consequence of His love in and through me, I begin to feel God's love poured out into my heart on behalf of those who are fatherless.  "God is a father to the fatherless;  he places the lonely in families." (Ps 68:5)  Many times they may not even realize that I am  loving them, as we read of in Hosea.  "They did not realize that it was I who healed them.  I led them  with cords of human kindness and ties of love."  (Hosea 11:1).

The Only Link that Holds My Child
And our desired goal is this development of link 3.  It is the only link that will hold them in life.  It, my dearly loved friends, is the link between their hearts and the Lord's.  It is fascinating that Ps 27:10 says, "Even though my mother and father forsake me, the Lord will take care of me."  It does not say, 'Even though my mother and father forsake me, there will be other parents who will take me in.'  Our love in link 2 is necessary but never sufficient to hold them, or anyone.  Just as human love has been necessary but never sufficient to hold me.  I continue to learn to pray for this 3rd link.  Lord, cause my children to experience you entering their lives and caring for them  exactly where they are.  Exactly in the way they need you to care for them. 

 In our family of 12, there are some who have this third link strong, and they do well in spite of life's storms.  There are others who are well on the way to allowing this third link to materialize.  Thankfully, in spite of many challenges, not one of us has determined we want nothing to do with this third link - - which gives me great hope that we are all works in progress.  I pray that the Lord completes this good work of the third link in each of our children.  And I pray He keeps the first link first, in each of our hearts as parents. 
A Practical Idea
Let me close with one idea.  I have found that children have a deep capacity for spiritual insight.  We might all sit down as a family, with me drawing these 3 links and explaining them.  Then I might suggest each of pray about this 3rd link, asking the Lord to help our connection with Him  be the strongest connection in our life.  We might even, in a more one-on-one situation, draw the state of our own links with the Lord....it will be a wonderful opportunity for encouragement in the Lord when they draw any link at all, or a dashed link, or a partial link .  Even if they draw nothing in the place of this third link, there is great hope in the one who keeps loving us in a way that carries us even when we do not see or feel His arms.  Above us ARE the EVERLASTING arms.

No comments:

Post a Comment