The Bitter Roots (Advent) - Monday, December 18

advent devotions 2017 lutheran indian ministries

The Bitter Roots - Monday, December 18

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love
that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure
of all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV)

A long history of abuse led me to believe that I was worthless, stupid, and unlovable.

Growing up I was told many lies that took root in my heart. I was told that I was stupid and wouldn’t amount to anything.  That I couldn’t do anything right. I wasn’t part of the family. I was told that I am nobody because I had no father.

My father left me before I came into this world. I had two abusive step-fathers who abused me and told me a lot of those lies. My mom had no time for me and didn’t give me the love that I desperately needed.

I remember being afraid to fall in love and get married because I didn’t deserve to be loved.  No woman could ever want me. I didn’t want to treat my kids the way I was treated.

As a young adult, I believed the bitter lies that took root in my heart.

I turned to drugs and alcohol and fell into deep despair. I continually made excuses to not get the help I needed, blaming the past for my dysfunction. I needed something or someone to pull me out.

When I learned about the inner lies, the root of bitterness that I believed, I had to talk about my story. I needed to share what happened to me so the Holy Spirit could sever those lies and replace them with the truth: I am loved! I am grounded in love! I have the strength and courage to be the man God created me to be! I am grounded in the love of Christ Jesus!

Father God, as we celebrate the birth of Your Son, Jesus, I thank you for sending Him to our broken world.  I thank you for His message of grace and salvation which has freed many of my Native brothers and sisters, like me, from the bondage of lies and deceit. Continue to lead us, and all your people, to the love found only through Your Son, Jesus.  Amen.

Rick McCafferty (Inupiaq)
Anchorage, Alaska