Just finished listening to a song by Dave Barnes – God Gave Me You (for the ups and downs), and as I listened to the lyrics it dawned on me that for sure some people are put across our path by the Lord for a specific reason, be it for good or bad. Ah how can I say God would use another person for something bad? That isn’t entirely correct, so let me elaborate.
How often have you been full of the joys of spring, and someone comes into your life and throws a curve ball that sends you into a tailspin? Not sure if anyone can relate but sometimes it feels like that happens often, and if that is the case then it’s a good time to stop whatever you are doing and take stock of life and the journey you are on with the anticipation of making a few challenging changes. I have recently done this, by stepping back from the daily life issues to focus on the bigger picture in the background known as “my life”, and it has been a great time for me to reflect, and make necessary adjustments, asking myself “what is my purpose, why am I here, where am I headed?”
A friendship is something precious and cherished because of the time it takes to cultivate and invest in a life. It also creates a catalyst whereby you are willing to “unzip” your inner most being, and allow your life to become vulnerable in the hope that the same reciprocal action will meet you in that moment, and so the bond and strength of the relationship is further fortified. But what occurs when that doesn’t happen? Tough question to answer, because many relationships are perhaps not yet on that level where that type of depth can be achieved for one reason or the other. But when there is a level of commitment that has the freedom to express the good the bad and the ugly, then it is that relationship that will be strengthened. Add to it the love of Christ, and the bond of peace then you have secured a friendship that is not easily broken.
I am constantly mindful that my brothers and sisters here on earth will be my eternal family when the time comes for us to enter into the life we look forward to, being in the presence of the Lord. Can you imagine if as a corporate body we walked in humility, peace and forgiveness with each other how effective the church would be? When there are divisions and strife, victory is difficult to attain, and so it comes down to personal choices. Do we choose to walk in humility, right or wrong, seeking the heart of our fellow brothers and sisters, or do we take up a defensive position and guard the state of our hearts and minds?
Can I be honest here? One of the hardest things I have experienced in my walk with the Lord has been to walk in forgiveness, even when I know I am right! But if I don’t do that, then I am holding that person captive without them even knowing. So, this is part of the ups and downs of being a Christian and making every attempt to live a life that is worthy of the calling He has placed on each of us. If any of us were to be brutally honest, we would agree that throughout the course of our life we have been offended, hurt, rebuked, etc., and it is in that moment we have a choice to make, in how we respond, either negatively or positively…godly or from a position of whatever the state of mind is at that time, and usually when our mind is involved it will be from a place of wanting to retaliate. That for me has been a wonderful barometer – if I feel anger rising up inside of me, and my thoughts degenerate then the Lord is far removed from the resolution, however, if I find myself crying out to the Lord for the other party, with sincerity, for His will to be done, and whether I am right or wrong, that the bond of peace be kept, then I know which voice to listen to, which option to pick, which road to proceed on.
At the end of the day, it really isn’t about being right or wrong, nor is it about being arrogantly justified – but rather, that Christ is revealed in that moment, and that peace is embraced with the intent to grow closer to the Lord – and not that we seek to claim “an eye for an eye”, but allow grace and mercy to be evident.
I am so thankful that the Lord gave us His word, and showed us the way forward, through the storms of life, and that we are loved by Him more than we will ever be able to understand.