It’s been another rough week. I’m not going into details but God has made me mindful of how I too often take Him for granted and how the hurt that I can feel, can also be felt by Him.
Sometimes things unfold in front of us, where we call into question whether others, who we love, actually see what we do for them and appreciate what we do and what we’ve done. It could be the giving of our time to them or assisting them in a number of different ways. And sometimes there is a lack of consideration or a lack of thankfulness or appreciation expressed. This can happen to us and it can be caused by us in our interaction with others. This week I experienced some of the hurt that comes from this interaction.
It’s a deep hurt and it can call into question the worth of the effort we many times put out to assist others, especially those that we love. And not only does it call into question the worth of the effort that we put out, but it also calls into question, the worth of the one who puts out the effort. You’ll notice that the focus is on me or us. What’s been done to me or us or how others have failed to appreciate or take into consideration things that I or we have done for them.
That’s one side of the coin and it happens quite often. How we fail to consider and appreciate what others have done for us and also what we have done for others. That’s on a human to human level and it can hurt because we can literally feel that hurt inside when our efforts or our worth is shown to be much less than what we expect. That’s the reality of an individual who is self focusing and I’m pretty sure that we’re all in that same boat.
But there is the other side of the coin and that is the side where our creator God resides and sends forth His love, to us, His creation. And as students of God’s Word, as found in the Bible, we know that the ultimate expression of God’s love to us is that He sent His Son to us, to dwell among us and to show us the way in which we could regain what had been lost. And not only did He show us but He actually did it for us, through the sacrifice of Himself on the cross. That’s not just going the extra mile, that’s God giving us His all. The lack of respect, the mockery, the insults, the physical pain, far above anything that you or I will ever experience. And then He said, in Luke 23:34 NIV “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.”
It struck me as I was experiencing the hurt that I felt, that we often times fail to acknowledge or appreciate the extent to which God gives of Himself to us. The degree to which He was prepared to go and did go, to make a way open for us, that was needed but was not there before. That was the cross, God’s witness to us of His love for us, through His Son. And it also is the witness of the Son, to honor that love, by following the Father’s will and put aside His own will to avoid the pain and anguish that dying on the cross entailed. Imagine if you will, being crucified by your own creation. The closest thing that we as humans could come to this would be to have our own children crucify us. And even this falls way short because God the Father orchestrated this and God His Son willingly honored the Father’s will.
And that is just the beginning. How many times do we pray and ask God for something and He answers our prayer and we fail to thank Him? Or how many times do we fail to recognize what He is doing for us, or has done for us, as He leads us to grow in faith and trust in Him? And if we are created in His image, which we are, I can’t help but think that the internal pain and hurt we can sometimes feel, is shared by our God. God’s word tells us that we can grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30 NIV).
And yet, even when we forget to acknowledge or thank God for what He has done for us, or is doing for us, He forgives us for our lack of understanding and moves us constantly forward to an ever increasingly awareness of His presence in our lives. A loving parent overlooks the lack of comprehension in a child because that is what a loving parent does. A loving parent knows that better comprehension will come to the child with adequate time and supervision. All kinds of scripture verses are popping into my mind right now but I’ll leave you to supply your own.
So. . . , if I get hurt by the shortsightedness of others in my dealings with them, especially by those who I dearly love, and have a tendency to hurt the most, what does God ask of me? He asks me to consider my shortsightedness of His dealings with me and react accordingly. If we need to be forgiven, which we all do, we must also forgive. And in the end, it’s not about us, it’s about our God and how all good things emulate from Him, the bigger picture if you will.
Sometimes I am amazed at how small I can be.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!