Today is a special day because I have a guest writer. The following post was written by my wife. I wanted to share it with you all.
I could think of lots of titles for this note but since I've been posting things my Daddy used to say as my Facebook status this week I thought I would use one of his sayings as my title.
There's one in every crowd. A thorn in your side, a pebble in your shoe, an itch where you cannot scratch...a problem person. Many people like to act as if once you become a Christian ALL of your problems are solved in life. I do not know where this bald-faced lie comes from but it seems to show up over and over again. Some evil spin doctor somewhere said, "Once you're a Christian, you're on Easy Street. Clear sailing from there!"
Have you been reading your Bible? Did Paul and Silas practice their music in a country club...or in prison? Did Stephen get gifts or stones? Did Jesus have a place to lay his head or was He always on the move? Did He ride in a gold chariot or on a donkey? In case you don't get my drift here please read 2 Timothy 2:3.
It is more than just a perverse sense of humor that kept God from including a "whack a mole" feature in our lives. It's very low-key but He is in personnel development. He guides us into the places where we will learn what we need and He manages to use it to help others if we cooperate with Him.
Back to the pebble in your shoe, er problem person. You would think God would honor your prayer to take him out. Maybe not out of existence but at least out of your vicinity BUT No! What does He do? Pay attention now. This is a shocker.
Matthew 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (NIV)
Oh whoa, baby, we are on the "No Pain, No Gain" plan! Seriously, Lord, this is not really what I wanted to do to...um, for, this person. Pray for them! You have got to be joking! I was thinking more like sending them a computer virus or something. Putting something discreetly in their path to trip them...you get it?
The more I get to know the character of God the more certain I am of one thing. His MO (method of operation) is different from what you expect it to be. Whenever you think things could definitely not add up the way they are going and the way He says they should go, they do. Surprise! His way or the highway! I'm telling you, it is amazing.
And what do we gain from praying for those who use and abuse us? He improves us. He reminds us that He loved us when we were snotty-nosed little brats who did nasty things. He did not give up on us. He kept knocking at our door and speaking to our heart. He made it so simple we could understand it. He was merciful and loved us through it all. Humbling, isn't it?
Lord, I ask you to be with those who are struggling today with the situations they are in. Comfort them. Strengthen them. Encourage them. Lift their heads. Help them to see the situation and the problem person the way You see them. Help them to become the person You would have them be. Glorify Your name in their life. Help us to reflect You in everything we do. I ask this in the precious and holy name of Jesus, who is my King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Amen.
P.S. What do you think Daddy meant by "Chew Barbwire?"