It’s not that I don’t like you, you’re just hard to live with!

Okay, so that’s pretty much a smack in the face. (Sorry. I do that sometimes.) I know you don’t, but a little therapy should clear that right up!

So, anyway, what do we do with people that it’s hard for us to live with? Do we smack them? Do we avoid them? Do we try to grin and bear it? Do we make them a priority-one on our prayer-lists? Do we ask God to intervene and level off one of us?

Yeah, this business can get pretty insane! (Why do you think I’m trying to have so much fun with it?)

Is there a formula for making it easier over time or a counteraction devise that can make our relief immediate? Well, if these things are legal, we have to wonder whether they might use them against us at some point?

Maybe our definition of live with needs to change. It is often a term we use for such maladies as a chronic illness, a bad marriage, an awful work situation, a bad attitude… But does such a thing apply to a person? Are we supposed to just live with people; try to get along with the inconvenience, learn to adjust into our state of perpetual despising?

I hope not! I pray there’s more hope than that for them and us! And that will be my focus here: us. We are the ones that must learn to live. We are the ones with the problem. (I’m not saying we are to blame, but is our responsibility to handle ourselves in this situation.)

I know the world always promises us that we can handle our situations–in the sense that we can do something with them–but this isn’t always true. Sometimes all we can do is handle ourselves in the midst of a certain situation. We do not always have the influence we would like, but we do have the management of our wills. That is what God calls us to submit to Him. This is our chief concern in living.

We must not concern ourselves so much with the things we live with, but with the God who teaches how to live while we face them. You see, the tests, the annoyances of this life are a stage: they are a back-drop for character development–both God’s and ours. This is not to say that God’s character grows in itself, but that on the stage of life’s bitter difficulties and strife it manifests itself in growing splendor before our eyes. And as this takes place, our characters–who we are–learn to abide more in Him.

So, you see, no matter what the details of the story, we can’t get caught up in them. He is the story and we learn who He is by embracing what plays out in our lives. If we were the story it would be a horror production, but because He is the story, everything we experience has a profound meaning that we’ll know only as we draw close to Him.

Therefore, we need not concern ourselves so much with what we live with and who, but about Who lives in us even so. God bless you in every disconcerting season with difficult someones; remember the story they’re apart of, you’re a part of.

Wikipedia: so definition: in a manner or way indicated or suggested. →

I can’t find ME in Humility!

You’ve emptied me in a new way, Lord. I don’t know what to think of Your activity this time. Am I okay? What are You doing? Can I trust You with a completely new thing?

I know I can, I just know at the same time that I don’t want to! I want You to be more understandable, nicely fitting into what I was already was hoping for. AGGH! This is hard. Waiting on You must become waiting for You. Am I really so far off from that?

I like to believe that I’m okay and You like to show me just how un-okay I am. You’re humbling me in ways I never expected. Most of my inclination is to just plead with You to stop. Somehow You hold onto my spirit, causing it to still blossom in Your presence.

I want a life that is far more happy than this. A humble heart does not seem to be worth all this! I want ease, not accountability. Popularity, not purity. Besides I can’t even see any fruits from this. If You’re going to do such a holiness-motivated work the least You could do would be to impress me with the great measure of reward I will receive from it.

But that would that really be part of humbling me successfully? Isn’t the point here for me to see my emptiness and the unreasonableness of my pride? How can that be accomplished if pride and its demands are yet acknowledged and shown great respect by Your Spirit? How can I expect my spirit and flesh to thrive at once?

Am I in the right lane for the next exit?

Is anyone here feeling angry today? It is such a nice day, seemingly so perfect on the outside, and yet there is a war going on internally. I am there today. I am particularly angry because God has told me to sit still and be quiet when I would rather vent my emotions and give no consideration to whom I may hurt along the way. As far as I am concerned this is not about anyone but me. I am hurt and I deserve the satisfaction of retaliation.

But, God asks me to wait; to let Him have the place of revenge; to trust that even in pain and disadvantage, He knows better than I how to handle me and my problems. That can be very hard. In my view, for Him to allow this struggle in the first place is to mangle the trust I have put in Him.

But, the truth is, God is not manipulating my dependence upon Him. He is, perhaps, straining that dependence, but He is not going to break it. I can trust Him in anything and everything because when it hurts, I know why. No, I don’t know how hard it will get, or how long He will continue to chasten me, but I don’t have to wonder why He does it or what will be the result.

When I am tested, I am being allowed to thirst for and seek out God more than I would unless He moved in my life this way. I will not grow if God leaves me to walk with Him based on my own interest and understanding of my need for Him. On my own I just don’t get that He is that important. I need harsh circumstances to present the truth to me in such a way that I can begin to walk in it.

Trials and unexpected troubles work upon us much like the signs that direct us on a major highway, making us ready to take a particular exit. They give us no option for getting where we need to be other than to follow the directions on them. They are firm, unyielding, and inattentive to our excuses.

When it is our habit to travel on the far left lane, we are separated from the side ramp by several busy lanes. Thus, when we continue in this vein of personal transportation, we make it impossible for ourselves to effectively follow the traffic pattern that will get us to our desired destination. To be unwilling to make any alteration in our present traveling pattern  in favor of enjoying a fast and smooth ride, is to sacrifice ending up where we would like to be later.

It is the same way in life: we can’t just move freely along on our preferred path and expect to be in the appropriate attitude and position to turn in whatever direction God calls us to down the road. We must remember that God is not about giving us gigantic signs and routes that coincide perfectly with our regular speedway. The whole point of the trip is to drive with God from beginning to end, always getting closer to Him, and more certain of His instructions.

If the whole adventure isn’t about Him, neither will any of our decisions be. We will not get over when we need to and we will miss the lanes of blessing and burdening that we need to be on to grow more aware of He who is our only reliable destination.