Saturday, March 27, 2010

Transforming Love

When we started this blog, my first post was about a difficult person that I have to deal with. I have no choice in the matter; she's in my life whether I like it or not. Thing is, I didn't like it. As a matter of fact, I hated it & wished with all of my might that the situation was such that somebody else had her role in my life. Somebody sweet & kind, who would love me & be always pleasing to deal with. Like Kate Mortimer (Stepping Heavenward), I'm not always the easiest person to get along with. My temper flares up easily enough without an intentionally belligerent person pushing my buttons, thank you very much! Therefore, I need to be surrounded by pleasant people who will not draw out my flaws & tempt me to sin, people who will make my path to glory easy. . .or so went my thinking at the time.

Well! God gave me a rude awakening when He placed this person in my life. And yes, I do believe that her role in my life is the work of His all-knowing, all-merciful hand. He knew what I didn't, that this person would be a refining fire for me. That He ordained her verbal jabs & tiresome behaviors to push my patience & temper to the brink, forcing my sanctification in both of these areas. He knew that she would grate on my nerves so badly that those rough edges would eventually be filed smooth. I didn't see it - or appreciate it - then, but I do now.

In just a moment, when He allowed me to see this person through His eyes that one evening, God transformed my heart from one of begrudging acceptance to one of love. I wondered if it would last, if my feelings would flee at the next trying interaction with her, but they didn't & still haven't. Amazingly, thankfully, I now have a true, heart-stirring, compassionate, merciful, forgiving, God-given love for her! The way this love has worked itself out practically is even more amazing. I no longer shy away from hugging her, & I even tell her I love her each time I leave her presence. . .& I mean it. Now, it truly gladdens my heart to help her. In the name of honesty, I have to admit that's not always the case; there are still times when I view helping her as an inconvenience. However, on those occasions - rather than justifying my sinful response as I used to - God's hand is heavy on me until I face my sin & repent. My view used to be that her hurtful actions had certain consequences, that if she was going to be malicious, then she could just do for herself rather than expecting us to do for her. By & large, God has cured me of this sin. Of course, by no means have my "rough edges" been completely worn smooth; no, we still have quite a ways to go! There are still times when I allow her words & behaviors to offend & anger me. However, God has begun to work in me so that I no longer hold onto my hurts & nurse a grudge. He shows me, each time, how my thoughts, feelings, attitudes, words, & deeds are sin. Then He brings me to repentance & I bask in His forgiveness, knowing that one day He will fully separate me from the sin that His death on the cross has already cancelled.  This process is not easy, but it is done by Him in love & is healing.

By no means is His work done, as I am not nearly fully sanctified! My love for her is not a perfect love; no earthly love is. But it is genuine. It is truly a miracle that He has done this for me. I asked Him for this love, & He granted my request. Not only that, but I also know that He will continue to grow His love in me until I am completely transformed into His image. And for that, I'm truly thankful.

*Our most gracious heavenly Father, thank You for showing me my sin, not just in dealing with this person, but each sin that I commit day in & day out. I know that each sin that I commit, while affecting others, is ultimately against You. I am sorry for my unloving, unforgiving, angry attitudes toward this person. Please forgive me. I thank You so very much for changing my heart, for giving me a love for her. I know this love comes from You, for it was definitely impossible for me to love her on my own. Thank You for this! Thank You for freeing me! And thank You for Your continuing work in me, for continuing to sanctify me so that one day my love for You & for all people will be perfect. I love You, Lord. Make me love You more. In Christ's holy name I pray, Amen.


Sara said...

Thank you for the sweet words you wrote on my blog. AND I love what you wrote. All to often we have people in our life that stirs all the 'ick' in us and they take the Christian right out of us. It is a beautiful thing when God opens our eyes and gives us glimpses of His very own vision.
Have a blessed day!

The Boyds said...

You're welcome. And thank you for yours. I hope your day is blessed as well.