Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? Hebrews 12:7
My sister and I were making Christmas cookies yesterday. Well, actually, she helped me sew several items including a pair of flannel pj bottoms for my son for Christmas, and I felt grateful at all the work she did for me so I stayed and helped her bake and decorate 10 dozen cut out sugar cookies for her Christmas cookie exchange at her workplace.
My son’s a Brony and loves Pinky Pie and Fluttershy, so my sister (also his Godmother) bought the material with the My Little Pony characters on it so we could give him his heart’s desire. (I think most of us love to be the one used to grant someone else their heart’s desire!)
You have granted him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Psalm 21:2
During our baking and conversation we talked about many things as sisters often do, but one topic came up that she never knew about. We have a brother who is 3 years older than I (6 years younger than her) and he was a strong willed child. He was difficult to say the least, and I’m not exaggerating when I say he used to torture me. He was not a nice person and being younger and weaker than him, I took the brunt of his strong will.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; John 10:10a
He picked on me constantly. Growing up as teenagers together, he was always stealing hings from my bedroom. I explained to my sister that that was the only reason I wanted a beaded curtain to put up in my bedroom doorway. My Dad didn’t believe in doors for his kid’s bedrooms so I installed a beaded curtain in my doorway specifically so that I would be alerted when my brother would go back in my bedroom to steal stuff. I remember confronting him several times after hearing the soft click of the beads against each other. My ear was tuned to that sound!
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
I did not realize how much his actions hurt my heart until I recounted to her that one of his favorite things to do would be to stomp on my toes whenever he walked into the room where I was sitting. Tears came to my eyes as I remembered how he would pick and pick and pick. I always had to be mindful of him and watchful around him.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful Col 4:2
The relationship I had with my brother came to a turning point one day when I was in high school and I had had enough. Did I mention that he picked on me? I was running back to my bedroom and he grabbed my ponytail, painfully yanking my head back. I
was stopped dead in my tracks, turned around, pointed my finger in his face, looked him straight in the eye and screamed said, “Don’t you EVER touch me again or you will regret it!!!” He never touched me again after that.
My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him. Psalm 89:21
During those formative years, I became super vigilant at hearing, watching, and guarding myself against my brother. I do believe he is the main reason I developed borderline OCD.
As I was meditating and praying over this in the middle of the night last night the Lord showed me how he used this part of my life to train me for the faith he has given me.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— Ephesians 2:8
Jesus gave me an epiphany and showed me how he used everything that happened between my brother and I to develop in me those things which will help sustain my faith through the years to come…
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20
My brother went on to spend much of his time in prison.
Those who lived in the dark, in death’s shadow were prisoners in misery. They were held in iron chains because they had rebelled against God’s words and had despised the advice given by the Most High. So he humbled them with hard work. They fell down, but no one was there to help them. In their distress they cried out to the LORD. He saved them from their troubles. He brought them out of the dark, out of death’s shadow. He broke apart their chains. Let them give thanks to the LORD because of his mercy. He performed his miracles for Adam’s descendants. He shattered bronze gates and cut iron bars in two. Fools suffered because of their disobedience and because of their crimes. All food was disgusting to them, and they came near death’s gates. In their distress they cried out to the LORD. He saved them from their troubles. He sent his message and healed them. He rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the LORD because of his mercy. He performed his miracles for Adam’s descendants. Let them bring songs of thanksgiving as their sacrifice. Let them tell in joyful songs what he has done. Psalm 107:10-
I used that time to send him letters witnessing to him of Jesus’ love. Whenever I’m around him now our relationship is different.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
He now picks on me about
Truth religious matters, but that’s okay. It is always an opportunity to remind him of Jesus’ love for him.
If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; 2 Cor 1:6
I hang on to the promise of God that what man intended for my harm, God will use to accomplish his good….the most important thing….the saving of many lives.
They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” John 4:42
I am confident that one day Jesus will make a break through in my brother’s heart.
Give thanks to the LORD because he is good, because his mercy endures forever. Let the people the LORD defended repeat these words. They are the people he defended from the power of their enemies and gathered from other countries, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. They wandered around the desert on a deserted road without finding an inhabited city. They were hungry and thirsty. They began to lose hope. In their distress they cried out to the LORD. He rescued them from their troubles. He led them on a road that went straight to an inhabited city. Let them give thanks to the LORD because of his mercy. He performed his miracles for Adam’s descendants. He gave plenty to drink to those who were thirsty. He filled those who were hungry with good food.
Jesus, I forgive my brother for everything just as you forgave me. Turn my brother and all of my family and friends and everyone who may read this blog from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to the power of God that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Further reading: Birth Order Book http://www.amazon.com/The-Birth-Order-Book-Why/dp/0800734068