Today, my daughter’s dog died. I feel bad for her because she loved her dog. My daughter is upset that she wasn’t home, she had taken a short trip and was due back this evening. My wife was crying while on phone with her talking about it. Hurting for her child, because that is what a parent does. But, as I saw her crying and telling my daughter how she wished she could be there with her right now to comfort her, it ripped into a wound, one that had, as much as it could, had healed. Oh, the wound, when it occurred was deep, extremely so, and in some ways, I am not sure it ever will completely heal. I have given that situation to God, and He has given me comfort, but at a time of extreme need, facing devastating loss, I was abandoned by those who one expects to be there for them at such times. I think I may have mentioned it before, but my father was dying, I was trying to do what I could for emotional support for my mother, siblings and father. But, my wife and some other family members had a trip planned, it was almost time for the trip and someone mentioned the trip in my dad’s hospital room. He was the type that didn’t like being fussed over and he told them all not to cancel their trip for him. They didn’t. They took the trip. Several times over the next few days while talking to my wife I would say how my dad was dying. Not that he was sick, not that he wasn’t doing well, it was obvious he was dying. Sometimes, she seemed not to hear, or maybe ignored it. Eventually I would say it again, her responses crushed me. She asked, “what do you want me to do?” I was hurt that she did not realize that her place should have been there to try and help comfort me and help me, as well as some other family members during that difficult time. I told her it was up to her but I did think she should be there. For the next 3 days when the subject was discussed, for some reason there were absolutely no flights available to get home. Whether she thought I was exaggerating, or that I was just being too emotional and that there was time left yet, I don’t know. But when I finally called to tell her he had died. They were all able to get flights home scheduled within a couple hours. But, I was confused, suddenly now, flights are available? Well, obviously there was not much effort until that point to try to get home. Knowing that added to the devastation of losing my father. Realizing that those who should have been there for me, were more concerned about going somewhere to have fun.
I was hurt, angry, devastated, furious, I can’t even describe the emotions. At that time, I did pray, but I was not following Christ and even though God gave me some comfort, I did not get all the comfort I could have gotten. Primarily because, even though I asked Him for comfort, and He gave it, I tried to cope with it the best I could.
Well, back to today, as I saw my wife, and heard my daughter crying and being upset about the dog, it ripped open that wound from when my father died. My wife willing to do anything to help comfort my daughter. My daughter upset at her loss. Yet, both of them had seemed callous when my dad died and I talked about the pain that I was caused because of others actions. They made excuses because of what my dad said, they justified not losing the money for the plane tickets, and not disappointing other people. Wow, the fact that it is more important to comfort someone about a dog that died than it was to be there for me not only tore open that wound, it actually made it deeper.
Spiritually, I am in a better place than I have ever been. I pray ,spend time talking to God, reading the Bible, working to get closer to Him. He has made so many differences in me. I have felt relief from burdens I had carried for a long time. But, this emotional wound revolving around that abandonment has taken a long time to even start to heal, and even though there was still hurt, like some physical wounds, there was more of a numbness than pain finally. But, oh, how it hurt to realize my value to some people. That they would have no hesitation to withdraw their love and support for selfish reasons. Obviously, I need to spend more time in prayer on this issue. I need to look to God and the scripture. I need His comfort, His support, His healing hand on me. Now, I will tell you that the abandonment at the time of my father’s illness and death destroyed my marriage. It has not been right since then, and I cannot ever see it returning to a reasonable marriage. I don’t know if I can get myself willing to even try to make it work. The wound was that deep, and the impact that severe. She made promises that she did not keep, she placed herself and others before me. That is far from what I thought love was meant to be for us. I thought love was putting the other before us, that it should be God first, spouse second, others third and self last.
But as I took some time to pray something occurred to me that relates to this situation, the Lord laid it on my heart to write about and how it is a sad commentary on society in general and Christians in particular that so many seem to quickly forget promises they make and have little hesitation to break those promises if they have something to gain by doing so. Maybe it’s a chance to take a trip or some other opportunity, there are many reasons and ways of gain that could be listed. There are many types of promises: legal in the form of a written contract; verbal when the contract is spoken; implied such as when one confides in clergy that what is discussed is private and confidential; between a lawyer and his client or doctors and their patients. There are many more that could be listed. Some promises have established penalties such as a house loan where if one doesn’t make the payments the loaner can foreclose And take possession of the house. Verbal contracts and implied contracts sometimes have established penalties as well. Physicians that improperly disclose patient information can be fined or sued. Some verbal contracts can be enforced in court as well. But what about the other promises one makes? There may not be a financial or physical penalty but there is a moral penalty, for Christians it is a sin, a form of lying.
Breaking promises can have significant impact on others as well as the guilt the one breaking the promise should feel. That applies to Christians and others. I remember being promised a trip to Disney as a child that ended up not happening. Other things come up that prevented us from going. But to me I had been lied to and cheated out of something I was supposed to receive. I felt betrayed. Just as I felt betrayed when my wife felt a vacation was more important than being there for me. Sometimes it is unavoidable I realize that now. But I have seen so many Christians fall into situations of breaking promises because they have more to gain if they break it.
I am not judging people that do or don’t keep promises. I consider myself to be honorable, that I am honest and that I keep my word, yet there are times I have failed but those are few thanks to how I was raised. I am sure I will hear from some that will make some sort of harsh statements and attack my characters and call me any number of things. But those that have done so know the truth, even if they speak falsely about me.
Its as I said though, a sad commentary about the willingness and ease of many Christians to break their word. How would we feel if God broke His promises to us? He won’t because God is faithful and true. We as Christians should strive for the same thing, that we not break promises for if we are Christians we are trying to be Christ like and should do anything and everything to maintain that attitude and the actions we expect of Christ. We all fail at times, with Jesus those times should be fewer and if we are humble and earnestly repent, He will forgive our failures.
I will hope for the forgiveness of those to whom promises I made that were broken and I have forgiven and will pray for those who broke promises to me.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5
(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. Deuteronomy 4:31
These are but two of the MANY promises that He will not forsake us. He will not abandon, betray, break promises. He is, and always will be, faithful and true to us.
Lord, I praise You and thank You for Your promises, that I can know that Christ will always be there for me. I ask you to comfort me when I am feeling the pain and hurt of being betrayed and help me forgive they who have done so. I ask that You give those I have betrayed by breaking promises the heart to forgive me. I ask You continue to work in my heart to make it more like the heart of Christ and continue to show me how to fulfill Your plan for my life. I ask you to draw loved ones to You, those that don’t know You, please put the conviction in their hearts that they come ready to seek salvation. Those who do know You, work in their hearts to draw them even closer to You and that You give them the guidance for their lives and Your plan for their service to You.
Thanks for bearing with me as I vent, make observations and continue to grow in Christ. I hope all strive to keep all promises.