A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity."
It seems that lately I'm airing dirty laundry. If this post seems too long, it won't hurt my feelings if you don't read it; it's really for my benefit. Do you ever just need to write things down in order to get some perspective?
For the past few days I have been nursing another wound, and I couldn't exactly put my finger on what it was. I felt wounded by a best friend and didn't know how to deal with the feelings I was experiencing. My feelings were hurt, and I found myself becoming angry.
As I began to have my devotions this morning I found myself unable to hear from the Lord through His Word. I was incapable of praying productive prayer and even wondered if the Lord was hearing me at all. I got up from my chair, put on my tennis shoes, and began to walk and pray for some guidance from the Lord. I began to talk to Him and asked for help. As I walked, I discovered something. The basic feeling I was experiencing was rejection. Rejection? No wonder I was so sad and angry. I deserved to be!
Then the Lord did begin to speak to my heart.
He reminded me of a passage of Scripture:
"He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows,
and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised,
and we esteemed him not."
That's talking about my Savior! He experienced many times over feelings of rejection, much more severe than mine. He was even despised by men. So who am I to nurse my wounds? My Lord didn't sit around feeling sorry for Himself; He gave Himself to the world that despised and rejected Him.
He said things like this to us:
" Then Peter came up and said to him,
“Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times,
but seventy times seven. "
I could say that I've already forgiven 490 times (but I haven't), yet from what I've been taught, that just means that we must keep on forgiving.
He also said,
"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:44-45.
Well, I haven't been persecuted and this is my friend who made me feel rejected. My Lord, though, was willing at all times to forgive and love.
I could go on, but I think we are both getting the picture. There is no room, or time, in the Christian life for feeling sorry for ourselves. I don't quite know how to resolve this in my heart of hearts. I don't know whether to approach my friend with it or to just let it go. I do know that the Lord wants me to obey my Heavenly Father as He gave me instruction.
Who am I to think that I have the privilege of self-pity when I serve a Lord who has overcome all for my benefit?
Hebrews 4:15 says,
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect
has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."
And in 1 Corinthians 10:13, I am encouraged that,
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability,
but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape,
that you may be able to endure it."
I'm not completely there yet, but God is reminding me that He has made the way to escape these temptations to feel sorry for myself, to be angry or resentful--or whatever else rears its ugly head in my life. Now I must allow Him to free me of the joylessness that this brings.
Thanking the Lord for His precious Word,