Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. (2 Cor. 1: 24)
There is always someone annoying in my life. It doesn't matter where I go or what situation I'm in, there is that person(s) that I find distinctly irritating.
All summer, there was this little girl in my life. Normally, I love little girls. But this little girl... well, let's just say that she was not enjoyable to be around. For the record, I wasn't the only one who had a hard time with her. But mine was the conscience who stung when I found myself disliking her. I knew that I did not have the attitude towards her that God wanted me to. I never treated her poorly but whenever I was kind to her, it wasn't from my heart. I was basically lying to her and to everyone I was around.
But she wouldn't leave me alone! All summer long, my path kept crossing this little girl's path. I knew God had a reason but I did not ask for help. I did not want to like this girl. She deserved to be disliked. So there.
Then, Michele came to camp. The little girl acted up, as usual and I suddenly found myself pouring out my heart to Michele. What should I do? I knew I was not letting God work through me and through my stubbornness, my relationship with Him, and others in my life, was suffering.
Michele smiled at me when I had finished my tale of woe and said, "I find that if I smother an unloving child with love, it makes all the difference in the world. Yes, our initial reaction is to not love them and to give them what they deserve. But what they need and what will change them is loving them." It was like a light bulb flash in my head. Duh. What I've missed out on this summer! I couldn't believe how blind I had been.
Of course, God had prompted me to ask for help. Of course, He hadn't forced the issue. He just let my conscience make me miserable for weeks on end. :-) I realized suddenly how unloving I had been. I was no better than this little girl.
After getting my focus back in it's proper place and asking for God to help me love this girl like He wanted me to, my life got much sweeter. My heart was finally at rest and I was able to love this girl with a true, pure love that can only come from God. I prayed for opportunities to show her that I really loved her.
Two times. Two brief encounters that made us both smile and the happiness spread like ripples from a pebble dropped into a puddle. Then, she was out of my life. I had to smile at the irony of it. As soon as my heart was in the right place, God took the irritation away. Then, he replaced her with people I absolutely love being around. Lol. I love Him.
This lesson has seen me through some difficult experiences the past few weeks. More irritating people in my life? Yep! But I am not as stubborn this time. :-) When you begin thinking 'what can I give this person' instead of 'what can I get from this person', your entire perspective of these people is so different. You see more of their qualities, instead of just their irritating habits.
I was reading in 1 Corinthians (btw, I love 1 Corinthians. It has so many gems tucked away in it.) chapter 15, verse 41: "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory." Each person has their own purpose. I believe that each person needs comfort and help and love from God and other people to blossom into what they were meant to be.
I feel so overwhelmed at times. But there is no reason. I'm not the honey; with God's help, I am just the container. :-)
P.S. The girls in the picture are some of my favorites from camp. :-) Lexie and Cameron. If you think of them, please pray for them. Lexie especially needs all the prayers she can get.