There are people in this world who will try to drag you down, remind you of why you’re not good enough, and bring you to your knees in pain. We wonder why. We question ourselves. We look in the mirror and find every fault they have pointed out multiplied a hundred times over. Believers are just as guilty as the non-believers. In fact, the guilt should go deeper if you have given your life to Jesus, for your responsibility to others should be greater.
Why do we do things like this to one another? Is it our own inner insecurities that make it so hard to just love, encourage, and support one another? What makes one person not get along with another? I have pondered these questions over and over in the last several years. I don’t understand why people like to hurt each other or not get along – especially in our churches. We are to be yoked to Christ, behaving like Him, loving as He does. He has forgiven the worst of offenses, eaten with the poor, saved the criminal, loved the homeless, the drug addicts… why can’t we do the same? We are certainly not any better than any of them. We, as believers, should hold ourselves to a higher standard to forgive more easily, love more readily, and serve without question.
We get our feelings hurt and decide to punish by withholding forgiveness. We get angry so we hold grudges. We feel insecure so we gossip. How much sense does any of this make? At the end of the day, you have withheld the love you could have shared, the example you could have been, and most of all, you have disappointed the One who gave you the life you are living and everything in it. And for what? A few moments of personal gratification that is sinful?
Regardless of what everyone else is doing, regardless of your selfish human feelings, regardless of what the world teaches, be the first one to make a move and break the mold. Be the first one to show that Christ is in charge of your life and not you. Be the first to stand up and say, “I forgive you.” Be the first to stand up and say, “I’m sorry”. Be the first to say, “I love you. I cherish you. I support you.” Be the first to pray for the homeless man on the corner instead of trash talking him as you pass by him about how he needs to get a job. Do you know his story anymore than he knows yours?
Be the first to reach out to the quiet person who you assume is a snob or thinks she is better. Do you know what is in her heart anymore than she knows what is in yours? Be the first to speak to the elderly or serve them. Can you just imagine what stories they could share with you from the life they have lived? They look in the mirror and see the child, the teen, the twenty-something, the forty-something… they once were. They look in the mirror with wiser eyes, matured heart, and full of lessons learned. Oh what they could share with us about how to live!
Step out of your comfort zone. Step out on faith. Jesus has never left you and He never will. Every step you take He is right beside you holding your hand with more love than we could ever feel from one another. He will guide you in loving, encouraging, and serving others for it is all for His glory. So go ahead. Be the first!
Days all begin to run together and emotions run high when you’re a patient or a caregiver in the hospital. Today my husband, Kevin, spent the day with me and our son, Jonathan on our tenth day at the hospital. When it came time for Kevin to leave, I hugged him tight as usual and told him I would talk with him later. I watched him with his bags as he headed out the door and down the hospital hallways. From our window on the ninth floor, I can see the walkway and entrance to the parking garage way down below. I watched as my husband crossed the street and began the trek under the covered walkway to the parking garage. My heart hurt watching him because I know how tired he is, how useless he feels leaving us behind, and just how much he hates getting in that car to leave us. And then of course, panic set in at the thought of him driving 30 miles to the apartment in heavy Houston traffic. I think of how much he means to me, and after all we’ve been through, how our relationship has only gotten stronger. I quickly sent him a text message and told him that I could see him from my window and that I loved him. I saw him as he stopped, grabbed his phone out of his pocket, and read the message. He turned around and knowing that he could not see me nine floors up , he waved into nowhere knowing that I would see him. Then he sent me the message “I love you MOST”. Tears welled up in my eyes as I watched him slowly turn and head out of my sight…
Have you ever watched someone you love walk or drive away and you were suddenly gripped with an unexplainable fear that you might not see them again? I have always been one of those people to think outside of the box and be guilty of fatalistic thinking at times. I’m a worry-wart for sure. It has been especially difficult in the last two years since Jonathan has been sick and in the hospital so much.
Each time the kids come up to the hospital to visit, it tears my heart out to watch them leave. I am flooded with so much love for them and wishing that I could have them all together to show them everyday. My heart walks away with them, and I miss them every second that I have to be away from them. I know that seems overly dramatic in the everyday scheme of things. We all have daily comings and goings that are just part of life, right? Dealing with life and death everyday for us has brought out fears and emotions that we didn’t have before. Watching my kids and my husband get into an elevator waving “Bye, Mommy” and “Love you, Honey” is sometimes overshadowed by thoughts of never hearing it again. This is when it is time to look to God for the peace and strength only He can give. I have to let my fears fade away, trust in Him, and hold on tight to my faith. Yes, just like everyone else, it is really hard sometimes when all I want to do is grab Jonathan and jump in the elevator with our family and leave hospitals forever and never look back. But life just doesn’t work that way. We were put into this situation for a reason, and we will continue to hold tight to His love and mercy knowing that our lives can only be better for it. God bless each of you as you hug your loved ones goodbye. Have a healthy fear that will remind you to make the most of your every moment with your loved ones, but don’t let it rule your emotions. God is in every moment with you, and in His world, there are no goodbyes.