Tuesday, April 07, 2020

It Ain't Over Yet


My heart is aching a bit tonight. Life is oftentimes long and hard. Well, often enough at any rate, often enough.

How is it we can be so far along in years having had so much practice and still make the same mistakes we've made so many times before?

And how is it that we are still so readily undone by careless words, and even more, how is it we then recompence with harsh accusation, leaving our opposition floundering in a wake of bitter contention.

Human relationships require so much care, so much maintenance, so much effort. Spouses, children, siblings, friends, neighbors -- every single one, if you spend much time together, will bring you to a point of tension now and then. It appears to be confrontation with another person, but honestly, if we step back and look elsewhere, it is an opportunity to confront something even more personal, something deep within ourselves.

Ask Him to show you. He will help you understand. Whenever we respond poorly, there's something to be found. The list of possibilities is long:
Pride.
Bitterness.
Unforgiveness.
Self-centeredness masquerading as insecurity.
Unkindness.
Jealous envy.
Strife.
Oh, the list is long. Much longer even than that.

You may have been wronged. True enough. But this isn't about getting "even Steven" (and poor Steven, how did he get stuck in that saying?) This is an opportunity to discover something about yourself and your need for God's cleansing and empowerment. That other person in this equation matters, too. They have their own need for God. And you both will need to do some housekeeping, some maintenance, to get that relationship back on track. That is very true and must be tended to.

But first, take care of your stuff. Go to God and straighten it out. That confrontation was for you. A rough edge needs to be smoothed. A sin needs to come to light.

So here I am, learning afresh that it's not over till it's over. Even if you've been at it for years and years, the smoothing continues and stuff is still coming to the light. And that's good. His goodness.

Why? Because we are being conformed to His glorious image. And because we serve a faithful, loving Father who is accomplishing that very thing in us. That's why.

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