Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11 ESV
I confess, I can be a bit of a goad kicker – a rebellious, malcontent, goad kicker. Gratitude is not always my natural state.
I don’t like my circumstances and want control over life – in my head, it’s all worked out – God just needs to go along with my plan.
Except…He often doesn’t.
I try to convince myself His no is best.
Apparently uncomfortable, stinky things fit the category, “for my good”.
Things I feel helpless to change.
Things that frustrate me.
God cares about my character more than my comfort.
I try to surrender.
My will for His.
My plan for His.
I pray and cry out to God, wanting relief, a solution – His rescue.
I whine and complain, bargain and bemoan.
In Dr. Henry Cloud & John Townsend’s devotional, Life Journey, they write about Joseph – the guy whose brothers sold him into slavery.
“Joseph’s fruitfulness, or success, came from putting his faith into action. He trusted God to do the divine part, then invested himself fully to do his human part.
Joseph didn’t try to manipulate the pieces of his life that were out of his control.
He entrusted those to God.
Note what Joseph didn’t do: try to escape slavery or prison; despair and forfeit his identity and integrity; resent and hate the ungrateful cupbearer; or develop a victim mentality.
Knowing what circumstances were out of his control, Joseph handed them over to God and focused on his responsibilities.”
Joseph accepted his circumstances as God’s will.
He did his best where he was and didn’t allow his character to become corrupted by bitterness.
He didn’t waste time on “what might have been”.
Joseph trusted God with the outcome – good and bad.
When I get out of God’s way, I make room for Him to do His work.
Let go of what I want for what God has.
He makes a way where there is no way.
He makes crooked paths straight.
He works all things for good.
What might happen if I learn to let go?
Let go of the relationship I want for the one I have.
Let go of hopes and expectations and choose to love the person anyway.
Perfect people don’t exist.
I hurt and disappoint people.
Loving someone means I put up with their stuff while they put up with mine.
In a way, it’s better than the perfection I seek.
Love that remains
• After hurtful words are said.
• After I fail.
• After I fall.
• When I disappoint and let people down.
This is how God loves me.
He doesn’t wait for me to get it or clean it up.
He loves me just as I am.
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV
God sent His One and only Son to die for rebellious people who refused to acknowledge Him, worshiped idols and went their own way.
He is the same God today.
I may not be able to trust people to never hurt or disappoint me, but I can trust God to never leave, walk me through the pain and love me in all my mis-steps and imperfections.
This week, you can also find me at Parenting Special Needs Magazine where I write about things I did right and things I did wrong in raising my now 28 year old son with disabilities. https://www.parentingspecialneeds.org/
You can find me at The Christian Post https://www.christianpost.com/reporter/voice/liz-petruzzi
Or find me as a guest blogger for one of my favorite bloggers and ministries, Sarah Koontz https://www.sarahkoontz.com/jesus-suffering/