Never before have I encountered such a confronting winter break, in terms of conflict.
So much to contend with.
* Internet conflict woman from yesterday.
*Hotel conflict with a poorly trained staff member telling us we didn’t have a booking, called us 5 times over 3 days. All along we did have a booking. I broached this with the manager and it went horribly.
*Medicine not arriving which should have been here 6 days ago.
*Groceries not arriving, driver dishonour. It was due to arrive at 12noinish. After chatting at 5pm with him, we waited for him to show until 10pm… rang the grocers and discovered the driver had decided to return the groceries to the store and go home instead. Leaving us without food for meals for 2 days… family of 5 hungry and hangry.
My body, mind and Spirit all cry out, wheres the peace and where’s the relaxation!
So I’ve chosen to stop and reflect upon what is the common denominator in these?
Practical living challenges
Hard people to love
(now we’re cooking!!)
Why is it that conflict naturally makes me think something is wrong?
What if I chose instead to believe (when challenges arise) something could be oh so RIGHT!!!
Where is God in this?
Yes, sometimes we have to look harder or take time to ask, in order to see His print within the day.
So I stopped to ask…..Lord, where are You in this? Is there something You want me to live out better? Is there something You want to show or tell me?
He answered – Yes…..(of course.)
He answered by giving insight about His print in each situation:
*reminding me of the delightful staff member who rebooked the grocery delivery. It really surprised her that I was so gracious about the muck up.(funny because I didn’t feel it at the time)
*He told me that whether someone treats me dishonourably or not, I need to be consistently myself and loving. Its when I choose not to carry offense, forgive quickly and release His love to others (despite their actions) then I have the applause of my Heavenly Father and as a by product, am truly free!!!
*He reminded me that the group leader who affirmed me the same day as the confrontation and others who know me continue to show support. He also had me screenshot this to further drive home the point.
*He made me realise we haven’t needed the medicine while we’ve been here. Praise God!!!
*I felt prompted and had the opportunity to apologise (and eat humble pie) after seeing the shame response of the manager. This humanized the situation and it healed something in him. His actual body position changed and the joy that exuded from him was totally worth it. (A friend advised me that being Asian, the fact he had mucked up, meant he had lost face- hence the shame response. I had allowed him to save face by apologising and affirming him. Hooray! A cheap investment for this man’s joy.)
This morning as I thought about all that had happened, I turned to my daily reading. See if you can see the theme here. God IS always speaking or communicating something to us.
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
Luke 6:27-36 NLT
So, it seems God is giving me plenty of opportunities to love hard people. As much as it’s uncomfortable, confronting and at times has shown me things about myself I don’t like-I know once I make the exchange with Him, I’ll live more freely than ever before!!!
Imagine not being bothered by others responses or treatment of you…. being able to bring God’s heart whatever comes. Wow….I definately want that!!!
(Quick proviso: the above comments obviously don’t include harmful or abusive situations and people, from these you need to get some professional advice and help) be blessed precious one. Xxxxx