So, you think you know her?

2 Comments

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT

‘Ouch!’ her bracing remark pierced a wound I thought had healed.

I focused mostly on my hurt feelings that first day or two as I mulled over her words and what had prompted them.

Eventually, I saw them as part of a pattern in our past interactions.  From there, it was easy to conclude that her particular childhood environment and behaviors she had absorbed from family members had made her like this.  And so, I viewed my ‘analysis’ as conclusive.

Fast forward a couple of weeks.  God graciously brought new information from a different source. I learned about some of the pressures she’d been under. Compassion welled up in my heart.  How would I feel carrying around all ‘that’ on top of regular responsibilities?

Then just to make sure I didn’t let that perspective fade, God made sure to affirm it with Paul’s truth I read the other morning in his first letter to the Corinthians.

The fact is, I tend to judge people’s actions and assign them motives that I make up.  I know I’m probably wrong most of the time.

For example, a couple of months ago while shopping at Kroger I judged a man to be a thief.  His little child was eating a banana. I then saw him THROW AWAY the peel, right there in the produce section.  ‘Come on, Dad, that’s pure theft!  And what kind of example are you setting for your son?’

A few minutes later I rounded an aisle and saw a big Kroger sign offering free fruit to children as part as their corporate commitment to helping teach little ones good health habits. 

Humility and embarrassment set in.  So glad I didn’t open my mouth to that dad!

We NEVER know the complete story about someone.  Besides, who are we to judge their hearts?  Who are we even to assume we have the entire story?

As Oswald Chambers says – Stop having a measuring stick for other people. There is always at least one more fact, which we know nothing about, in every person’s situation. The first thing God does is to give us a thorough spiritual cleaning. After that, there is no possibility of pride remaining in us.”

Why we hate to wait

6 Comments

1 Cor 13:4  Love is patient

As Mike and I wait to hear about a job, we find ourselves very aware of all the other waiting situations that friends, family, fellow believers, and colleagues are enduring.  Such as those awaiting:

  • to undergo medical tests or scheduled procedures
  • results of tests
  • a diagnosis, finally
  • the conception of a child that will lead to a healthy newborn
  • the sale of a house
  • acceptances from college
  • a marriage proposal
  • an adoption to be final
  • renovations or construction to be completed
  • the merciful death of a suffering loved one
  • the release of someone unjustly imprisoned or captured
  • a corrupt political regime to topple
  • an indication of maturing spiritual fruit in someone we love
  • the salvation of a loved one
  • someone to hit rock bottom and come to their senses
  • God to finally DO SOMETHING

Everyone is waiting. And no one likes to wait.  So why is that?  What is it about waiting that frustrates and angers us?

If impatience is contrary to God’s way, what exactly is behind or underneath this sin?

As I was getting dressed at the gym this morning I turned off a podcast just to think about waiting.   Since God has deemed it GOOD that Mike and I wait for something about which we petition God every day, we have grown VERY aware of all the people we know who join us in looking for God to act.

Alone (it was EARLY) in the women’s locker room, I reflected on what I’ve been telling God in my prayers.  How we NEEDED more information so we can make plans.  But is that really so?  What do plans (especially when we don’t have enough info) do for us?  Isn’t it that ‘making plans’ give us a sense of control so we won’t HAVE to worry?

My thoughts then turned to this question as I was putting on my shoes: will there ever be a time when we DON’T worry?  Right away, I pictured myself in Heaven with the Father, Jesus, and the Spirit. THERE, for sure,  I wouldn’t feel this impatient anxiety.  Why is that, I asked myself?  Because I’d see God face to face.  It’d be easier to trust Him, seeing Him, I reasoned. I would KNOW that all is taken care of.

Why would being present with God in the restored world be different than now? Don’t I have His presence, His Spirit IN me? and His promises to me?  For sure, I do!  Yet I pushed myself to answer this question. Then I saw the unpleasant truth:   I would KNOW beyond any doubt that He would provide for me.  I would trust Him more than I trust Him here and now.

Shame flooded me.  I don’t really trust God. 

After all He has done for me in my flesh-and-blood, day-to-day life.

After all the ways His Word reassures me.

After all the stories of how He has come through for others.

After the fact that Jesus did everything necessary for me to be united with Him, forever, in the Father’s presence of Love, in the forever restored world.

So maybe, just maybe, this long wait to hear about a job is exactly what God has prescribed to PROVE to Mike and to me that He really is trustworthy.

As a French teacher, I understand about individualized, differentiated instruction.  Could it be that all of us are students in God’s Classroom of Patience, each of us with tailored-made homework assignments and the occasional pop-quiz?

May we learn our lessons well and NOT have to repeat this class!

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: