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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Lord, Relatives!"

July 5, 2003

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"And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you." (Genesis 45:5)

Vacations are hardly ever planned without some thought given to relatives. Now that opens a real Pandora's Box. The arguments are many. They can be boiled down. Should we spend our vacation, or part of it, visiting relatives? The answer to that question has spoiled many a holiday or vacation.

The pros and cons of this matter were racing through the mind of a man standing beside his brother's coffin. It had been along time since he had sat down to visit with his brother. Distance had kept them apart. He chose not to visit his relatives during vacation time. He felt like he would be using their homes as vacation hotels. Now he thought maybe he should have spent some vacation time visiting relatives. He was feeling guilty. He was in need of repentance and confession. He also knew that his brother had died of a heart attack while visiting relatives. They had engaged in a big argument shortly before the fatal attack.

There are times when relatives become so close they squeeze out God. Things become tense. The relationship breaks down. The result too often is sinful. It happened with Joseph and his brothers, all sons of Jacob. But Joseph spoke the Word of God to his brothers: "And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you."

God doesn't tell us to spend our vacation with our relatives, nor does God tell us not to spend vacation time with our relatives. We need not feel guilty no matter which way we decide. But don't forget, God wants to go with us no matter which way we decide. So let's not try to squeeze Him out.

PRAYER: Lord, go with me that I may have a pleasing experience. In Jesus' name. Amen.

(Taken from "Lord, Vacation Time is Here" (out of print), copyright 1977, International Lutheran Laymen's League.)


Today's Bible Readings: 1 Kings 19-20    Acts 13:26-52

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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