God in Family — not Family as god

Categories: Devotional,Exodus

Some people lose their faith when a loved one or a child dies. Not Dr. Komp, Chief of Pediatric Oncology at Yale School of Medicine. She found God through the very lives of people dealing with children with cancer who were dying.

In A Window to Heaven: When Children see Life in Death, Dr. Komp shares some hard lessons of parents dealing with dying children, and how sickness or death of a child can expose idols that God forbids.

She writes:

Abraham hears a voice saying, “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

“By all means, Lord,” he replies with pious courtesy. “The new BMW, a fancier house, a summer cottage on the beach, they mean nothing to me anymore. I’ve learned my lesson. I denounce keeping up with the Jones’s.”

“Abraham,” comes the voice now louder, “thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

“I’ve heard you, Lord. Believe me, I’ve denounced my workaholic ways. Nothing is more important to me than my family.

I denounce any worldly ambitions that separate me from my family. I place power, riches, fame, and ambition all on the altar. You have gotten your point across. Trust me, God.”

“Abraham! Abraham! Thou shalt have NO other gods before me.”

Komp writes: Many of the parents I meet start their journey thinking that this is the answer. They used to live shallow materialistic lives. They now hear God saying through the sickness of their little ones that there is something better for them.

For many fathers, work has alienated them from their wives and children, and so they naturally assume that God’s message for them is simply to invest more time in their families.

For sure this is a healthy part of the message but it is only part.

Few suspect that it is not the whole story. And what is the whole story?

The whole story is to trust even those whom we love with all our hearts in terms of our earthly relationships … to trust even the child’s well being into the hands of a God who must surely love them more than you or I could ever be capable.

To trust the promise of God that though the passing of this life to the next is our loss, it is heaven’s gain. And if we love children then it is their gain too.

Why would we wish them to be with us when they can be with Jesus?

God insists, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

This commandment (the first, Exodus 20:3) has far-reaching implications and applications. Meditate on them. One is that when a Christian gets clear on how to put God in family but not put family ahead of God, or make a god of family — that’s something to Celebrate!

Author: Toby Larson

Toby Larson leads Celebration International. He is a husband and father of 5. Whether he's teaching, hitting tennis balls, sailing a Hobie, serving in Asia, skiing on water or snow, Toby is passionate about the love of God and the love of life. Read more ...