Today, nothing happened extra spectacular except I almost lost it. I'm sure if you are a Christian, you can now put a star in your crown that you have never had that happen. I know quite a few polished ladies that I admire, and emulate. They are rare, and I can assure that being in their presence, they exude a peace, that I hope to extend to others. I just didn't have that polish today.
One of these precious ladies I look at in awe, shared about her mentor in small group one time. She said when she first got saved that the woman that took her under her wing said,
"There is nothing you can say to me that can offend me."
She shared how that impacted her life, and encouraged her to have the same mentality. I think she has obtained that, and if not, she is doing a darn good job at trying. She greets you with a smile and her face says, "I love you, nothing you can ,do , can make me love you less." I have seen her walk in church after a major heart surgery, and stand at the altar with her hands outstretched lifted to God in worship with praise that he had mercy and left her here on Earth. When I grow up, I want to be like her!
Today for a moment, I found out how absolutely far I am from that. We were at a public park and there was a woman that had been drinking. She was boisterous and had more than a hint of obnoxious redneck in her. I can say that, because I have that too. She started yelling at my children about something in her mind that was a safety issue. She screamed, "I don't care who your parents are, or where they are, you need to listen to me." My children complied, but were a little rattled at her behavior towards them. They didn't know what to do and were scared. I immediately got my feathers ruffled and jumped in redneck mode as well.
Truly, it had nothing to do with her. I have had a bad week, bad month, and maybe if love remembered all things , you could say it has been a bad year. There are moments in our life that memories pop up, and we have to cover hurt with love. God's love. Forgiveness is a choice not a feeling. Today was a day for other people and took a lot of my energy, and I had not centered myself in the word, or prayer before the day began.
The kids looked at me and were fearful that the lady was going to get them. I said , "You go on and if she says anything to you, I will deal with her." Just saying that, stroked my ego a bit. My flesh relished in the imagination of wanting her to say something and what I would say. The difference in some that give in to their fleshly desires, and those that seek to please God is his children have his spirit. There is no earthly throat punch that could have done to me what the Holy spirit did to me in that instant. Instead of feeling 100% satisfied in my declaration, my children were looking at me with concern as if to say, "Is that how you really feel? What is wrong with you?" Look at what I missed in my reading this morning.........
Psalm 94:20 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul. Can a throne of destruction be allied with You, One which devises mischief by decree?
The beautiful thing about God's word, is its residual effect. His word is powerful. I might have more instantly walked in peace towards this woman, had I spent more time in devotion, but I knew my feelings and motives were wrong. I had not completely relinquished my desire to say something to this woman, but I knew I was treading on dangerous hate filled ground.
I said, "lord help me."
My feelings had not completely changed, but the word just started bubbling up. A gentle reminder came "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him." prov 26:4 and "Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words."prov23:9
I repeated these words to myself, and my daughter just looked at me as I was scolding my flesh. My son came up to tell me something else she said, and I stopped him before he could get too far and told him I did not need anything feeding my flesh, just to stay away and be at peace all he had to worry about was his parents. The yelling got louder, and I was struggling to not want to listen to what she was saying.
Another one of my sons has broken his arm, and we were outside in the sun, and my husband asked him how he was feeling. He smiled shly and said he was fine, but I knew he wanted to go home. I took that as my way out. That was wisdom right there, because just as soon as we got on the road, God reminded me of another scripture.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
God did not want me going back to the vomit of my old life yelling like a redneck or picking a fight. Just as my kids need only worry about their parents, I need only worry about my God. He always has a plan, and I don't always have to say something. I failed him earlier in the day by not being totally centered and letting the activities of the day take me, but God's word was alive and active in my life.
NO I wasn't feeling it today, but you know what? God provided a way out. I want to be like the beautiful ladies in my life, and I have had desires to pick up a bat to promote right living in some, but God has been faithful in my obedience to his word, so I guess what that whole "offense" thing means is "I wont let your actions or words dictate my reactions."
Thank you Lord for being with me today.