As I read from Matthew 7:1-6 earlier today, it was as if the Lord was reading my mail! It felt like I was reading a history book that contained the story of my recent life! It brought back the memory of some very painful times, but also impressed upon me how much I have grown and learned since then. That look back in time helped me to see the motivation behind the verbal attacks that my wife and I had endured and gave me the grace and strength to continue to move forward within the relationships that were affected.
I have become a firm and relentless believer in ALWAYS responding to the unreasonableness of people, no matter how close or mature in Christ they may seem to be, within the guidelines of God’s grace and love. I have come to learn that a quick smile and a closed mouth is better than an immediate and angry retort uttered in self-defense. When unrightly judged… judge not back and thereby keep the door open for God to calm the storm that has erupted from the mouth of the other individuals!
My wife and I were listening to a young minister last night who talked about the importance of people seeing more of the grace of God in your life than hear your personal wisdom and insight. I quickly learned that my attempts to straighten out false assumptions and accusations were immediately deflected by a wall of fear and total disregard for what I had to say!
In the long run of things, it was the graceful smile, patience and the passing of time that allowed the physical proof of the manifestation of our various faith-filled actions that quieted the naysayers! I’ve learned that no matter what is going on around me, no matter what others are thinking, saying and/or doing about me, what matters the most is my personal connection and unyielding obedience to the Lord’s directions.
I’ve always been a people pleasing type of person, and believe me… This has NOT been an easy lesson to learn! I was talking to our youngest daughter last night and she was encouraging me by telling me of her firm belief that God still has special plans for my wife and I. She clearly sees us in the pulpit ministry again and while there is ZERO indication of that in the current place and time, I KNOW that God isn’t done with us yet.
I am sure that the hard lessons learned within the last few years are in preparation for things to come. God has a reason for and in everything! Understand, that I am in NO WAY implying that God caused any of the hard places in our lives, but He definitely uses those things to fine tune us for greater service unto Him!
So today I encourage you. If you are in the midst of hard and or difficult times, NEVER GIVE UP on God. Continue to seek and obediently follow His guidelines and loving care for you. Put a smile on your face and allow His grace to intervene. Learn your lessons and know that His best for you is yet to come! Have a wonderful day. Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom are you expecting today?”