So, if it isn’t already evident to you as my readers – I have wholehearted, with everything in me and perhaps even more, accepted Christ as my savior and redeemer. That being said, I have been consciously praying for a character of grace and tact in everything that I do. I truly believe that God does not just give us these character traits we yearn for. Instead, he gifts us with opportunities to grow and display the character we have prayed eminently for. After all, is example not the best way to lead and learn? Furthermore, I believe that there are truly well-intended (maybe) people out there who are used in the moment to divert you from truth of the spirit. In a moment of test, your mind will disapprovingly see what you heart (your heart for God) doesn’t. This idea will lead you to sin and further despair. It will inevitably create as many lies in your heart as it can gather. It happens fast and you never know that you are hoarding all of these lies. But, if you are lucky to catch it, you can stop it in its tracks.
What do I mean with all this? Well, first I will have to tell you the story!
Today, I decided to go to the grocery story to pick up a few things before my lunch plans. I had a full spirit and a rested heart. Since we are being honest, I haven’t felt like that in the morning in at least a three weeks. I’m in the check out lane purchasing my goods. There is a lady who is behind me. We will call her Fran for the purpose of my story. Fran is pretty much burning a hole in the back of my head. She’s an older lady, so I figure maybe I am not dressed conservatively enough for her generation. Different times, different upbringing/rearing– I get that! I sometimes feel this way for these young kittens in junior high. I pull out my phone and proceed to use my HEB app for coupons. Best app ever, but that’s another post!
Just some background, my wall paper on my phone is a picture of my husband and I on our wedding day. He is wearing a tux and I am in my wedding dress. It romantic looking, so there is little ambiguity that it is an actual wedding photo.
I’m acknowledging the clerk checking me out, engaging in friendly conversation. Fran behind me interjects in our conversation and says,
“Oh,” she pauses for what felt like 5 seconds. She looks at me from the bottom of her eyes. Mind you I’m almost 6’0, so she really had to throw her head back.
“That’s cute,” she says. I hold my breath. What is she about to say because surely there is more?!
“Is that like a friend or…”
In my head, I’m thinking why on earth would I be posing with a friend in what is obviously a professional wedding photo. My heart is heated and I’m just disappointed at this moment. I gather myself collectively and in the most respectful tone I could muster –despite my furry I respond,
“It’s my husband. I love honey crisp apples; I think you’ll love them too.” I smile and leave.
After I said that, I could tell she was so disappointed about my answer. She really didn’t like the unity. It genuinely offended her.
Immediately I text my sister and start to vent and she shares with me this. She quotes Psalm 124:1-8. It says,
“If the Lord had not been on our side let Israel say— If the Lord had not been on our side when men attacked us, then they would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger against us. Then the waters would have engulfed us; the torrent would have swept over us; the raging waters would have swept over us. Praise the Lord, who has not let us be ripped apart by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird from the hunter’s net; the net is torn, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of Yahweh, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
What is this saying? Well, the only shield we have against despair, or in my case, negative well- intended people is the word. I can take her comment and let it create a burning anger inside of me or I can profess that The Lord is my shield. The alternative, as it says in scripture, is us being swallowed up, having a torrent or raging water sweep over us. Whatever way you want to see it; it all includes that anger or disappointment totally consuming our heart that belongs to God.
If God is in our heart, then there is no room for that burning sentiment.