Since I was young and small, I have encountered individuals so unlike myself in nature and attitude that it left me, and still does, with an unease and apathy that is burdensome. Sadness is what lingers when I look to those long ago relationships and then set my eyes on the ones I now carry.
Sometimes, we are free to simply cut ties and walk away from those with whom we find it impossible to relate in meaningful and peaceful ways. Yet others, because of circumstances beyond our own control, do not afford us such freedom. It is those, the binding and seemingly endless ties, that cause enduring distress. Sometimes, there are no easy answers, there are no resolutions that we can enforce, we simply have to bear. I learned this very long ago and yet still find it disheartening each time I come face to face with the hurt.
Yesterday evening while struggling with a particularly difficult and perplexing relationship, I was reminded that my focus must shift. As scripture admonishes, I must fix my eyes on Jesus and remember that what matters most is that I live to glorify Him, even in relationships that try my patience, crush my spirit, and weigh heavily on my heart. After all, how an individual treats others has little to do with others and everything to do with his/her own heart. I must not allow my circumstances to dictate my attitude, my words, my thoughts. I must come back to truth, to God and His ways, they are always best.
I continue to pray for these trying relationships, knowing well that changes in hearts is all that will result in changes in relations. Some things in this world are hurtful and may always be, but God is faithful. He is my strength. He is my confidence. He is my peace. I must remember that what I am continually offering to others is a welcoming embrace, encouragement if only they will open their ears to me, kindness if only they will open their hearts to me, but I cannot force anything. Even Jesus Himself is no intruder nor does He instruct us to be. He also prepared us for rejection, promising us we would be rejected and betrayed even as He suffered scorn by those He came to save. He offered us encouragement reminding us that He had overcome the world and that through Him, we too, would in time be victorious. How I long for a time when striving will cease and peace will reign. Love is a wonderful thing and hearts that refuse to open to it are hearts to be pitied not condemned.
I am such a sensitive soul and struggle with my thoughts and feelings, not wanting to allow my hurt to give way to sin. Such a challenge for me and I so often fail…especially in my thoughts and words. I even chuckle to myself as in my anger I want to cling to verses like this: “cast out the scorner and striving will cease.” I have to coax myself toward others…”love your enemies, pray for those that persecute you and despitefully use you.” Then I pray, “Lord create in me the right Spirit and fill me with Your love to overflowing so that others will be blessed by Your love through me.” That is my heart’s greatest desire and it is daily put to the test by trials common to us all.
To my faithful readers, be blessed on this journey and look forward in joyful expectation to the blessed hope we have in Jesus.