Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May 27, 2009 "Love My Enemies?"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
By: Teresa Criswell

"But love your enemies and be kind and do good [doing favors so that someone derives benefit from them] and lend, expecting and hoping for nothing in return but considering nothing as lost and despairing of no one; and then your recompense (your reward) will be great (rich, strong, intense, and abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind and charitable and good to the ungrateful and the selfish and wicked. So be merciful (sympathetic, tender, responsive, and compassionate) even as your Father is [all these]."
~ Luke 6:35 ~ Amplified Version

"Hi, How are you today?"

Her response to this question was in a condescending tone, "The day has only begun, it's kinda early to tell, don't ya think?"

I was caught off guard by this smug answer. She was an attractive woman probably in her 60's, nicely groomed and dressed; a fresh face framed with soft light brown hair with a hint of red. Of course her outer appearance did not quite match her response. To say the least, I was caught off guard and then this is what came to my mind so clearly, "Because she's hurting her expectancy is based on hurt. She is blinded by allowing it to rule her life."

Forcing a smile on my face in this awkward moment I said, "Well, at least we are blessed by this very moment to be alive." She acted as though she did not hear me and for about 2 minutes which seemed much longer, she started to hum a song as though I were no longer standing there. I don't think I had ever experienced an awkward situation like this before. It was not earth shattering, but it was definitely bazaar and thought provoking.

Needless to say, many thoughts came swarming into my head. She interrupted the awkward humming with my grocery total. I hurriedly opened my wallet, as I nervously fumbled through my coins and paper money. As I retrieved the money out of my wallet I nicely said, "Here you go". She took the money out of my hands, turned to the register and pressed the numbers on the register. The drawer opened, she counted my change and placed it in my open hand and then proceeded to help me with some of the bags that were still on the 'Lazy Susan' counter.

Before I walked away I told her to have a great day. Surprisingly, she also told me to have a "Great day". As I walked out to the parking lot, there was another older lady by the baskets who also worked at the store. We made eye contact and I said, "Have a great day" She nodded slightly, and then looked away.

I walked outside about to pout as I said, "Lord, the man at the deli counter wasn't nice to me, the lady at the register wasn't nice and now the lady by the baskets, what is going on?" The question turned quickly to gratefulness as I said to God, "Thank you for the strength to be kind even when they didn't necessarily deserve it." As I walked to my car and opened the back gate of my SUV, I placed the groceries in the back. I was consumed by the 'sandpaper people' I had encountered this morning. These awkward moments today had me do some inward inventory of my own heart to ensure that I don't rub someone the wrong way with a bad attitude whether it is intentional or unintentional.

As I placed the key into the ignition and drove away, compassion started to overwhelm me as I really believe I heard in my spirit, "The harvest is plenty of hurting people who need MY love." As I heard this it was so clear that the harvest is ripe with hurt, pain and anger and they need to be harvested and received into the hands of the laborers of God that show forth His love no matter how we are treated. It is truly a reminder again of Micah 6:8, "...What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to walk humbly with our God."

It was truly revealed today that many times I have this mentality that if I am nice to someone that they will automatically be nice back. However, we know this is not always the case, but it is still hard to swallow at times, isn't it?

These silly real life scenarios truly revealed to me today that no matter what I think I deserve in return I must react the way God has called me to do so; for His glory. It is another way of worshiping Him. The result will help from being disappointed by what I think should have happened and let God's love be revealed through me. Will it be difficult? Yes, but it is more difficult to get through the condemnation and guilt from the enemy and from my own soul after I may have said or done something that at the moment seemed like the gratifying thing to do.

I must remember that the harvest is plenty of hurting people. I ask myself, "Am I as a laborer of God's kingdom going to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy and walk humbly with my God?" The resources of what God has called us to is abundant. This world has abundance of hurt and pain; let's pour out the abundance of what God has so freely and graciously given to us no matter how much we have screwed up. He loves to use the broken vessels; because only He can get the glory when He makes that broken vessel whole and more beautiful that we could ever imagine.

God is in the business of giving HIS peace and joy when there are storms of every sort around us and trying to surround us. His presence is truly to surround us in every way beyond our imagination. His presence is more than abundant. What will I choose to surround myself with? I pray I choose Him moment by moment. I may never know what could rise up in the hurting and that is Hope in God through Jesus Christ as we reveal Him.

Who do I reveal today? Do I reveal my pain or do I reveal His glory in the midst of my pain?

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