I was talking with one of my kids the other day about some family members back in our home state that are dealing with some potentially serious health conditions. I say “potentially serious” because I am not one to put my faith into medical science’s diagnosis, especially when it is in direct disagreement with the Word of God. I’ve discovered that God’s potential far exceeds the limits of what man says or has the capability to perform!
Over the recent years there has been a fair amount of concern and conversation about the need for changes in the lifestyle, living accommodations and overall health for these individuals. And yet with all the talk and investigations into possible next steps, it has never gone beyond the talking stage because one of the parties involved has not wanted to pursue anything different than the life they have always lived.
My daughter was expressing her heart felt concerns over their rapidly escalating health needs that should be forcing the hand of the individuals involved and stated with exasperation that “It seems like everyone has been dancing around and putting up with the situation for years but is afraid to force the issue and do something about it.” And then concluded… “Why is that?”
A long conversation ensued and we agreed that we all have just learned to look past certain idiosyncrasies and what most others might consider to be a certain amount of insensitivity and/or (as my Mom used to say…) “strange” behavior with some family members for the sake of keeping peace!
That conversation came back to haunt me the other night right after I had tucked my wife in for the night. I was standing in the bathroom starring at myself in the mirror and for some reason began to think of the lack of communication that we have been receiving concerning the health situation I just mentioned above. Now granted, I was feeling a bit emotional as I had a tougher than normal time in helping Piper to bed as she was rather limp that night. Our evening confessions of the Word had helped to strengthen me, but after all was said and done, I was being attacked with a bit of self-pity!
Lots of things went through my head at that moment in front of the mirror. My thoughts flew from feelings of anger to disgust (the analogy of feeling like chopped liver in the sight of those involved passed through my mind!), and at one point I was thinking about how glad I was that we had physically moved away from that constant undo pressure! I also entertained the idea that the only reason that I have continued to make numerous attempts to contact them through unreturned phone calls, a card and two letters… that have also gone unanswered… is strictly out of respect for my wife, even though she (hopefully - for it would greatly hurt her) has no idea as to what is going on!
I also realized what a strong and imperative role my wife played in family communications throughout the years of our marriage. She was the one who stayed in touch and laughed off and softened the impact of the insensitivities and unusual behavior patterns to the kids and myself.
I went to bed that night with all those thoughts abounding in my head and heart and woke up the next day looking for answers. And wouldn’t you know it? The Lord was ready, willing and rather point blank in His reply to my cry! I opened my favorite bible translation that morning to Colossians and cringed as I read: “As holy people whom God has chosen and loved, be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle and patient. PUT UP WITH OTHERS, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint. FORGIVE AS THE LORD FORGAVE YOU. Above All, be loving (for) this ties everything together PERFECTLY.” (Colossians 3:12-14 God’s Word ©)
After I read that, I sat back in my chair a little stunned! I wanted to wallow in my frustration and anger! There were more than a few things that I wanted to tell these folks to “set them straight!” But after a few moments I couldn’t help but laugh at myself for the answer that the good Lord had clearly expressed to me! It would seem that God has a different agenda than what man’s reasoning or how common sense would dictate we react to such a situation.
About that time I suddenly realized that my Pandora radio selection was playing the band “Jesus Culture” singing the words: “Your love never fails!” Well, that sealed the deal and I melted like hot butter on toast! At that moment I slumped in my chair and simple stated: “Okay Lord, I get it…I surrender to Your will… How do I do it?”
Have you ever been there? I would think most of us have faced similar dilemmas in our lives at one time or another. How have you handled the situation and the frustration, anger and hurt that you felt deep inside of you? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wasn’t so much the adverse things that were done or said to us over the last six years that bothered me, (not that they didn’t devastate me) but the way I responded to them! I would have thought that all my years as a Christian or as some would say as a “professional Christian” as a licensed minister of the Gospel for over thirty years would have instantaneously caused me to respond as Paul encourages us to in sympathy, kindness, with a humble heart, gently and with huge amounts of patience all wrapped up in a heart of love. But YIPES… That didn’t happen!
It looks like I’m still learning! I guess you never get to the point where you know it all… and that’s probably a good thing that forces us to stay humble, sensitive and open to the correction, adjustments and loving instruction of the Lord. What do you think?
Have a great day today! Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or How am I expecting to stay TEACHABLE today?”