We can never underestimate the power and effect of our impact and effect on people. I wonder, in amazement, at the subtle ways God is constantly working in my life in how He places the right people at the right time in my life to speak the right words of encouragement. I get so locked in on my own circumstances that too often I fail to see the many ways He really is working.
I wish I could make people be kind. I can’t. But I’m hesitant to be overly harsh on how others are treating me and what gives me pause is the observation of how I am treating others. But the most difficult situations to deal with are those in which I find my children being mistreated and verbally abused. You can’t MAKE other people be kind. The only thing I can control is whether I am kind to everyone I meet… and I can do my best to teach my children to do the same. But the injustice of this world and the cruelties endured by my children are difficult to explain away. It is a foreign concept to love and be kind to those very people who seek to crush us with their words. My children cannot understand why other people hate them so and it becomes a constant battle to not only teach them to remain true to how God wants them to act and respond (in love) but also push out those hateful words of others and focus instead on the true voice of the Lord, in which they must find their true identity. Convincing myself is difficult enough, but convincing my children is nearly impossible.
God angers me. It’s not right, I know that, but I do get angry with Him. I forget that it grieves Him even more then it does me. And when my tears dry up and my heart softens, I feel God’s comfort and His presence and I know that He is still working and moving in their lives as He’s been doing all along. A youth pastor, and children’s pastor; a principal or a teacher; a church member or some random stranger… God sends people into our lives at the same moment He is also sending us into the lives of others to be vehicles of comfort and encouragement. And sometimes, this is enough… it’s all we need to get through this present trouble. Hurting sucks. Seeing your children hurt, well… that’s almost unbearable. Through it all, God remains true to Himself and to His character: faithful, true and good. My God is sovereign in all things and He walks beside me through it all. That is the Hope that I hang onto in my darkest moments and those of my children. There is peace. There will be blessing. He will be Sovereign. . . particularly in the darkness.
Peace, Sean Gutteridge
17 O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.