God and mankind have been dealing with messes forever. In the Old Testament God was so dissatisfied with the level of sin of His children on Earth He brought about a flood of waters so deep and powerful that only the humans and animal inhabitants on the Ark survived. God used the flood to wash away the mess mankind had made on Earth.
My dear mother was of German descent. Somewhere in her upbringing, she must have learned to believe that an enema was good for whatever ailed the body. In fact, there was no limit on the condition I had as a child to justify getting another enema from Mom. A fever. Yes. A runny nose. Yes. A cough. Yes. Lethargy. Yes. At those moments Mom was always prepared to say, “Bubba, drop your drawers. It’s time for an enema.” No need for me to complain. It was going to happen.
In fact, the benefit of enemas was also embraced by one of my aunts to address one of my first cousins repeatedly getting a sick stomach at school. For three straight days, my aunt received a call from the school. The nurse said, “Billy (not his real name) is complaining his stomach hurts. You need to come and get him.” On the third day, upon arriving home from school with my cousin, my aunt informed him, “I need to give you an enema now since you are too sick to stay at school.” My cousin replied, “I feel much better now.” That offered no relief in avoiding the enema. My aunt stated frankly, “If you don’t feel good enough to stay in school, you must feel bad enough to get an enema.” The enema must have cured my cousin’s stomach problem as he never had the nurse call home again for the rest of his education.
I personally deal with the messes of others in my calling as a collaborative divorce attorney. I have learned that the benefits of prayer are profound. Whether the divorce is caused by adultery, an addiction, insensitivity to meeting the needs for affection, or other breaches of trust, it naturally causes anger, bitterness, lack of forgiveness, and anxiety. Those emotions do not help resolve divorce in a constructive or loving way. The emotional weeds get in the way of seeing the big picture. What is most important? The children. Showing the kids how to end legal relationships. Acting to effectively co-parent the children with a former spouse. To protect the kids from being involved in parental conflict. Or, alternatively, using the lawyers, the courts, the legal system, and even worse the kids to punish the other spouse. To focus on blame and the problems instead of on peacemaking and finding solutions.
In my practice, I have witnessed that prayers in divorce have cleansed the hearts and minds of the emotional mess of the spouses I have served. Their divorces were resolved because of the results of prayer. Forgiveness. Compassion. Empathy. Understanding. Even mercy.
God has spoken to us in Scripture about such things as the cleansing of the Earth, the body, and the spirit.
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Let us pray.
God, in prayer please help us to wash away our sins which separate us from You and others in our lives and in our greater world.
God, in Baptismal water, we are marked as Yours forever. May we as Your children be made purer and more reflective of Your love in what we think, in what we say, and in what we do because of daily prayer. Last, in prayer may we find the most powerful cleansing agent on Earth. Your love for us despite our messes, our faults, our failings, and our imperfections. Amen
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Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur, and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to www.BendingAngel.com website.
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