Man! Have you ever had that one person who just gets under your skin? Do you let them get to you and then you want to get them back? You feel justice would be served if you just said or did something back to them. It would make you feel better, right?
Well, I can say I’ve struggled with that today. One person. Yes, just one, really bothered me. I can’t think. I can’t function. All I want and need to do is cry. So, I begin praying with all I have. I pray God, hold me back. God, I need you to step in right now because I’m about to do something or say something that isn’t going to be nice. So then I begin to cry and I decide to open my bible. I looked back on the verses of today from my daily devotional writing “Sweet Blessings.” Here it is.
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.
Well, then I kept reading because I needed to take in as much as I could. It only gets better.
Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears. You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.” No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel. Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking.
Yeah, so I realized that all my wanting to get back and all the feelings of bitterness and anger was not good. That’s not how God wants me to act. I have to work at living in peace, even with this person. Notice it says “work.” It is work and it will be work. It doesn’t say “Rest or play at living in peace with everyone.” No! It’s going to take some effort. I will have to try. Work is also present tense. So that means I need to presently, right here, right now do it. I don’t need to think about tomorrow or the next time I see this person. I only need to focus on now.
Also, I like the part that says, “You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind.” It says to me that I am not at a place of no return. What I’m going through is not the end and not the worst that can happen. No matter how hard it is, I can press on.
And because the Bible is God’s word, I need to listen to Him. Verse 25 says: “Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking.” All of this is for my benefit. It shows how powerful God is and He is the judge over all things. He will judge me someday. He says to live a holy life and acting in bitterness and anger is not part of it.
So I am at peace with what God wants from me. I am no longer crying and no longer needing vengeance. God will take care of me and will judge this other person as well. I have to do what I’m supposed to and leave it at that.