Driving in England, we rented a Vauxhall Astra that had a left-hand gear shift with six forward gears. Six? I couldn’t believe it. And I had to master it the moment we got into the car! One gear for reverse with six forward. Take the hint! Rarely in reverse, keep going and getting ahead.
Like the large windshield in front, seeing what’s ahead. Small side and rearview mirrors to briefly check what’s beside and behind us. A sudden glance with most of the time looking forward.
Psalm 45: 16–looking ahead. Generations pointing forward and not in reverse. ‘In place of your fathers shall be your sons.’ I am very aware that my sons need to put all their energy forward to their children. Love goes forward in six gears with just a smidgen in reverse. What makes me happy is when I see our children caring for theirs. Love moves forward and needs to.
Respect and honor for parents. That would be nice. Sometimes we’ll need their extra helping hand. As the psalmist says: ‘your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land. I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever’ (Psalm 45: 16-17). The psalmist is referring to Israel’s king and successors.
I couldn’t help but sense the Lord’s gentle nudge. Encourage your sons and daughters. Love them. Love their spouses and their children. Pray for them often. Be there for them, but don’t smother them or weigh them down. Use the forward gears. As the Apostle Paul said, ‘…But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus'(Philippians 3: 13-14).
Maybe this has sparked a thought in your mind. You need to shift into the gears of love, encouragement, concern, forgiveness, patience along with lots of prayer. No children? Pour out your love to any and all you really care about.
Think about it. If you’ve been taking too much, demanding too much, unforgiving and bitter, ask the Lord to show you how to let go, getting out of reverse, shifting into those forward gears!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for all your love and care. In Jesus’ name. Amen.