When I hear a prayer request, I typically pray for God's peace to surround that person. I can think of no other better prayer because that is the ultimate for me. With God's peace, any outcome is OK for that person.
Last week, I got a chance to experience God's peace in my life.
It all started with an innocent homework assignment for my 2nd grader. A family tree. Now, this may be a simple project for some families because their ancestors are recorded going eons back, but for me it has always been a little harder. My parents and grandparents had it really tough growing up. Poverty and tragedy abounded. Both my parents had been basically orphaned at an early age because of their mother dying and both their fathers then left the children to fend for themselves. Family members took the kids in, but they were all separated into different homes. I can't imagine the sadness.
The good news for me is that my parents came out of it as survivors and were determined to give me a better life than they had. They succeeded. One way they protected me from the past was to not talk much about family history. They always told me to not worry about the past and to concentrate on the future. So I did.
Last week, I called my aunt and asked her to help me fill out the family tree. That was when she mentioned that she knew something about my family that she didn't feel she could tell me about. I was like, "What?!? Your kidding right?". It involved my parents and apparently my parents agreed not to tell me about it for whatever reason.
After I made sure that it wasn't about me being adopted or anything, I tried to pry it out of her. She wouldn't budge. It drove me absolutely crazy for 2 days. What could it be? This would be the answer to all of my childhood questions - or so I thought.
Then, God's peace intervened. I completely stopped obsessing about it. Either my parents had trained me well to not think about the past, or God's peace surrounded me. I think a little of both but mostly the latter.
I believe God has helped me to see a couple of things. Firstly, my parents always had my best interest at heart. If they didn't think I needed to know, then I trust that they had good reason for it. Secondly, I am exactly where I need to be right now in my life and opening a can of worms will probably not benefit me in the least. Thirdly, I know God knows what it is and if He decides to let me in on it without me badgering everybody in my family, the it'll be OK. There are some questions in life that can be left unanswered or answered in His time.
At church last Sunday, the sermon confirmed my third observation. Just like I trust that my parents knew what was best for me, I believe God does too.
Is God's peace enough for me or do I want to have "knowledge" and be like God? Remember in the book of Genesis when God told Adam and Eve that they could eat from any tree except the Tree of Life and they ended up eating the apple from that tree because they wanted to know everything like God does?
My family secret (it's not much of a secret anymore, huh?) is like that apple. It looks juicy and full of knowledge and like the key to my childhood, but if I touch it and eat from it, my eyes will be open in a way that will taint some of the beautiful memories that I have of my past.
Will I change my mind someday about finding out? Maybe. Who knows? For now, this is how I read into this situation.
One day, if you also trust Christ with your eternity, we will be in Heaven and God will answer all of our questions. He will wipe every tear. He will rejoice with us and we will live an eternity full of truth and goodness.
No more family secrets.