Friday, August 15, 2014

Faithful Friday: Loving the Unlovable

Have you ever been personally attacked by someone for no reason other than it is just the way they are?

Even when we know they are "one of those people," it doesn't take the sting away that comes from the prodding.  Like a caged animal, maybe you feel like they're taking an extra long stick and teasing you.  Poking you here and there, in just the right spots to make you growl.  Like the bully they are, they wait - until you take a breath and think it's over - just to pounce again.

Ever had an experience with someone like this?

Sadly, we've had more than our share.  Some worse than others.  One that lingers still and, in fact, had us shaking our heads just the past week at how boring their life must be that all they have to do is sit and stew about how to torment ours.

But, honestly, if you've ever dealt with even one difficult person, who makes it their mission to make you miserable, it is one too many.

Sometimes it's just words, gossip, rumors...the stirring of the pot.  Sticks and stones, you say, but it still hurts.  What makes it worse is when they attack you in other ways.  Perhaps your finances, your faith, your family.  That is when it makes it extra, unbelievably hard to love them.

I prayed for such a people yesterday.  This time, I'm watching someone being beaten down from the outside.  As uncomfortable as it is when it happens to you, to see ones you love being hurt - for no reason other than there is true evil in this world, is difficult to say the least.

And I'll admit it was somewhat with a clenched lip that I lifted them in prayer; but as I was pouring out my heart to God, in how loved ones were being treated, he laid it on in whispers to include them too.

Goodness knows they need it, or else they wouldn't act the way they do, but it isn't easy to pray for those who hurt us.  Especially in the midst of the storm.

"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."  Luke 6:27-28

Sometimes I ponder on why good people suffer.  Why the nice ones always seem to get knocked down.  To receive pain for no reason.  And then I think of Jesus.

Isn't that just what he endured for us?

No matter what I (or those I love) face in this life, it doesn't ever add up to the pain and suffering He willingly went through for each of us.  He chose to.  Just because He loves us.  That's an amazing truth I remind myself time and again.

To be in the midst of a trial and be able to say you are blessed may seem strange to someone who doesn't know God's love.  But He says it time and again in the Beatitudes.  Not a list anyone jumps to be on, but He's with us each heavy step.  And great is the reward for any suffering we face.

Hang on, dear friends, JOY is coming....


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