I have been going over my various devotional notes this week. In anticipation of my husband’s vacation, I wanted to get a lead on my blog posts so that I could sleep in with him! Here is a note I made last September, while going through some very painful trials.
John 21:22 NASB verses 18-23
Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go." Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He *said to him, "Follow Me!"
Peter, turning around, *saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, "Lord, who is the one who betrays You?" So Peter seeing him *said to Jesus, "Lord, and what about this man?" Jesus *said to him, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!" Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?"
Oh, wow! This verse came to me while singing at church in answer to a struggle I have had all this year.
How are we to cope with fighting Christians? It burdens me that there are Christians with whom I simply cannot get along. I hate this. We are supposed to be united, peace loving, without contention. And yet, I can't change this and God hasn't yet changed it. This is.
I can almost fool myself into believing that I can just move on as a recovered or surviving 'victim.' But that belief never lasts more than a moment because I know these former friends love the Lord. More importantly, God loves THEM! How can I shake the dust from my feet with self righteousness in the face of that knowledge?
So I battle within myself, consumed with sorrow and fretfulness, less than I ought to be each day from this trial.
Then this verse came to me. Wow! What amazing peace has washed over me. It is not for me to struggle to make peace anymore. It is also not my job to reject them. It is only my job to follow my Lord! With my eyes on Him, I can 'hand over' this relationship and this person to Him.
I know all this, of course. But the idea of quarreling believers has really burdened me. I thought it was my responsibility to sort things out so that there was unity and peace. Now I think God has truly released me. God loves and plans for each of us. For reasons that certainly include sin, we have had a split. But the Lord works all things for good for those who love Him. His plan is complete and good. I just need to rest in His sufficient grace for today and do what He asks of me. The rest is honestly none of my business. Bliss!