I think I speak for everyone when I say life is hard sometimes.
Key word: Sometimes.
Whether you’re battling hard relationships, needs of any kind, slumps, bumps, disease, or just the monotony that comes with the day-in and day-out, sometimes it’s hard to see the beauty each day does, in fact, bring.
The most difficult time, I think, to see life’s beauty is when you’re trying not to be negative in the midst of a negative situation with someone. Accepting the fact the person is imperfect as you are imperfect is a challenge. It’s easy for us to say “yeah, I mess up, but thank God for His love and mercy!” than it is for us to say “you know, so-and-so isn’t perfect either and they need God’s mercy as much as I do.”
It’s especially hard when you know without a shadow of a doubt you have done nothing wrong towards this person. They’ve just decided to make your life miserable whether it’s out of fear of your skills, jealousy of what you possess, or anything about you, really.
How do you react to that? How does God want us to react?
I’ve faced a similar situation and there was a time where I thought the problem was me. So, I got real with God and I asked Him to show me where I was going wrong and to help me find the courage, strength, and integrity to fix it. Well, I went through about two months of being very conscientious of how I approached this person: what I said, how I said it — walking on eggshells basically which, as a Jersey girl, is very hard to do.
I expected situations with the person to get better, but they only got worse!
One night, I prayed “Okay, Lord. What gives? I’m nice, I’m courteous. You’ve changed me inwardly over these two months. Why are things not changing?!”
Then, as God so often does when I go to Him with an issue, He spoke to me through His Word. That night, my devotions took me through Judges in the Old Testament. The 2nd chapter is the voice of the Lord as He explains He will raise up judges, or leaders, for Israel. He also says this:
“I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, in order to test Israel by them, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk in it as their fathers did, or not.”
The Lord isn’t going to make people you have difficulty with suddenly disappear. That would make it too easy and we wouldn’t learn about perseverance:
“…We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-4
We also wouldn’t be so quick to turn to Him. Isn’t it funny how quickly we remember the Lord in the midst of a storm?
It doesn’t mean God doesn’t care, that He doesn’t see the poor treatment you’re bearing. It’s that He wants to see who you turn to for strength and guidance.He wants to see how big your faith in Him is, in the good and the bad.
So, how do you react? Do you run to your friends, family, and coworkers to complain and spout off negative things about the person OR do you turn to Jesus who, as He was spit on, mocked, hurled insults at and beaten by soldiers, didn’t open His mouth?
This situation is a test, but take hope because God is the answer.
He will help you through. He will strengthen you, give you patience, and refine you and your attitude to be that of Christ. I know it’s difficult and it’s all too easy to slip into a state of negativity, but keep focused on the eternal, of what God Almighty is doing in and through you. When you look back on this situation, you’ll see God’s providence and the many lessons He taught you through this dark time.
Have you had to endure a difficult situation with another individual? How did you handle it? What did you learn? Share your experiences in the comments!