Monday, August 07, 2006

Sit! Stay!

Had a recent conversation with a girl who is embroiled in alot of teen drama that she wants no part of and which has hurt her personally. The situation is complicated and involves a good deal of ungodly gossip. She is very angry and has felt like what would work best is to punch everyone out. Only problem is that she doesn't know what all the facts of the matter are, and she can't find them out without sinning herself. Plus, she is so angry that she knows it is likely she'd do some damage.

I told her to chill.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." Proverbs 3:5,6

The natural and understandable tendency of most people, when their world goes wrong and they are the bearing the brunt of hurt, is to immediately try to do something to get to the bottom of the situation and resolve it. It's as simple as going to the drug store for aspirin when you have a headache. But in the Kingdom, that isn't the way it goes all the time. Certainly there are some things that need to be done if you know you have sinned against someone else. But if you are hurt, and angry about it, and have not sinned, then it's just possible that it is an opportunity for God to be glorified by your doing nothing at all.

Deuteronomy 3:22 "Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you."

Have you ever tried to untie a knot in a young child's shoe with their foot still in it? Often the child will try to "help", which invariably impedes the whole process. You have to keep pushing the child's hand gently aside, and they are not often content with your help. The process takes quite a while, depending on the will of the child involved. In the same way, our efforts to rush about to put things right affects God's plan in the same way. It takes much less time if we let Him do the necessary work in the hearts of others and in circumstances, and are still with the expectation that He will solve the problem.

Said this girl to me: "How do I know when it will be time to do something?" I told her that she would know because she would be able to act with the strength of the Spirit: with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. As long as she was angry and torn up inside, it would not be time for her to act. But when it was, it would be like the Lord removing His arm preventing her from acting: opportunity would present itself, and she would know exactly what to do, and she would be able to proceeed in full peace and self-control. I told her that the ability to recognise the signs of when the Lord would have us act, and when He would not are abilities that are freakishly rare in girls of her age-- but that if she could cultivate a spirit of watching and waiting, she might just master it at an early age.

May it be so not only for her, but also for me, and for you too.


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