Friday, July 22, 2011

Pray For Them...

A few days ago, I received a late night phone call from someone close to me.  She never calls me that late, out of respect, so when I saw her number flash across my TV, I immediately became concerned.  "Did I wake you?" she asked.  "No, I'm usually up pretty late." I replied. 

"I'm sorry to call you so late, but something is really bothering me." By this time, I was almost nervous about what she was going to say.  I had already received some sad news earlier that day, so my nerves were kinda shot.  I erected from my lying position, "What's wrong?" I asked. 

She went on to tell me how much she loves me and my husband and children, how she adores our union, and how she "don't play" when it comes to me.  As soon as she said that, the voice in my head said, "Somebody's been talking about you again."

I knew by the irritation in her voice that what she'd found out did not sit well with her one bit.  She was very upset.  Now, she and everyone else who knows me, knows that I do not do drama, or any of that guess-who-said-what-about-who messI despise gossip.  Not that I've never been guilty of it, but when you know better you do better. Amen?

As I sat quietly on the phone, listening to what she had to say, tears began rolling down my face.  I was shocked and angry. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  And I completely understood why she felt so compelled to tell me what was going on.  You see, someone that I care about was saying some ugly things about me, my husband, and our children.  Now I don't believe I'm above being talked about in a negative way, but when it comes from someone I allowed into my heart, it hurts.

After we hung up, I sat in my bed and cried.  Not becase someone was saying awful, untrue things about me, but because my trust, love, loyalty and support had once again been taken for granted.  The human side of me wanted to call that person and give them a huge chunk of my mind, but the God in me knew that would not be the right thing to do. Oh, but I was tempted!! 

The next day, while spending time in prayer, the Lord helped me to understand what had transpired.  He told me that there's somewhere He's preparing to take me, and some of the people attached to me simply cannot go.  He said that there's a special anointing upon my life, and though people may claim to love me, there are some who are envious of what He's doing in me. So with that, thought it still hurts, I know that God exposed this person's true character to me only for my good.  Being surrounded by undercover enemies is not cool.

I'm not into all that "my haters are my motivators" nonsense.  I mean, clearly not everyone who smiles in your face has your back, but to say that I'm motivated by that is crazy to me. I'm not motivated by hate.  I'm moved to do what I do for the Lord because I love Him, and I seek to please Him and give Him my very best in all that I do.  That's my motivation.  Some people take pride in their "haters" but I don't.  Not one bit.  I actually feel bad for them, because it just means that they lack confidence within themselves and the abilities that God has given to them.  So instead of celebrating those who secretly dislike me, I do as Matthew 5:44 instructs - "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..."

Yep, I pray for them, and continue to love them as Christ loves me. Now, I probably won't have any intimate dealings with them, but you get the point.  I sincerely pray for them, that God would help them to be confident in who they are in Him.  That way, they will learn to celebrate the good in others instead of being envious of what they feel they lack.

So, I said all of this to say that people you love will often turn out to be people you can't trust, undercover enemies, haters, or whatever you wanna call 'em.  But that does not mean that you're supposed to fly off the handle, go off on them, and treat them the same you they've treated you.  As children of God, we should always live by the Golden Rule - Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you. (Luke 6:31)  Even if you don't get the same treatment in return, you are still obligated to live up to Godly standards and portray Christ in all you do.  Now does that mean you have to continue to be a sucker for someone's mistreatment?  Not at all.  There's a nice way to do or say anything.  If you've been betrayed by someone close to you lately, although it may hurt, don't try to get revenge.  Vengeance belongs to the Lord and He will repay. (Romans 12:19)

Just pray for them.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Simply Grateful

Today I am grateful.  Not that I'm ungrateful on other days, but today my heart is exuding gratefulness.  Ever since I awoke this morning, Thank You Lord, has been on my lips.  It's not because of any one thing in particular, but for the simple fact that God is faithful.  He continues to prove Himself to me time and time again.

He's so good.
He's so merciful.
He's so understanding.
He's so compassionate.
He's so loving.
He's so forgiving.
He's so sweet.
He's so caring.

And He's been, and continues to be, all of that to me.  I love Him so much. 

Whenever I find myself wanting to complain about particular things not being the way I want them to be, I think about how good God has been to me.  I think about how in spite of all the times I was clearly worthy to be harshly punished, He was merciful towards me.  I consider how he took my sin-stained soul, and made it white as snow.  I ponder on all the times He was there for me, loving me, when I turned my back to Him.  I get lost in worship when I look back over my life and see how He saved me from a life of self-destruction, and gave me purpose.  When I think of where I could have, my, my.

I can't help but be grateful.  I can't help but to lift my hands in praise, and my heart in worship.  I can't help but cry and give God thanks.  He's such an awesome God!

I'm sure that if you'd just take a moment to think about it, you'd be grateful to.

No, life may not always be going the way you want it to.  You will face hard times, and weak moments.  But in the midst of all that you go through, God is yet faithful.  He's yet good.  He's yet worthy.  He yet cares for you. 

Take your mind off of whatever situations you may be facing today, and give God thanks for your life.  Don't worry about what you don't have, what's not working out, or what's going wrong.  Just tell Him, Lord, I thank you for my life.

You know, something that I've learned along life's journey is that despite how gruesome personal situations may seem, things could always be worse.  For that alone, we should be grateful.

Go ahead and give God a grateful praise!

Til next time...

Love you for real,

Here's a song to meditate on...enjoy.