Today one of my Facebook friends commented on a post and it reminded me of a story a former student told. Her friend had passed away the year after they graduated. Before the funeral, the friend’s grandmother sat down with all the girls mourning and passed around her granddaughter’s picture, then said “You’ll always remember her like this. She’ll never hurt, never be sick, never know heartbreak. She’ll always be the laughing girl you see here. As you age and go through the pain life brings, she’ll stay exactly the same.”
My student said the words comforted her like nothing else could. Tonight, I’m going to hold on to that. And I’m going to remember that love wins. At small group week before last someone said darkness isn’t the opposite of light, it’s the absence of light. We must be the light. Hate and anger destroy light. I refuse to hate. I give my anger to God.
Photo Used under creative commons license. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamingray/421730278/sizes/m/in/photostream/
Galations5:13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[c] 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
Today’s Crave lesson really hit home for me as we discussed. In fact, for the last seven weeks I’ve been on this real soul search.
My next door neighbor is young and loud and, well, completely different from me. WHen we started this World Harvest series, one of the challenges we talked about was sharing God every day, with everyone you come in contact with. Let me just say I wasn’t sharing God in any way with my next door neighbor. In fact, the only interaction we had was me giving him the stink eye if I had to go out in front yard and glare at him and his friends late at night/early morning because of their noise level.
Since that first lesson, I’ve prayed for God to help me show more of His light to others.
Last week, my neighbor and his friends woke me up, but something was different in my response. Instead of being angry, I was worried. When I went outside, I didn’t glower, I spoke. I asked if he was okay. His response was comical. First, he asked his friend if that was his neighbor talking to him, and then he said “yes, Ma’am. I’m good.” and then he apologized. 🙂
When I asked if he was okay, I was sincere. God’s changed my heart where my neighbor’s concerned.
A big part of that change comes from the fact that I work with young adults my neighbor’s age all the time, but I’ve avoided HIM, and he’s right next door. I can’t very well share God with the young man if my only relationship with him is adversarial.
It’s easy to stay at home with my Netflix and computer and TV. It’s easy to hang out with other believers and talk about God. But it’s not biblical to keep God to myself.
God’s been working on me in this area, and this lesson just pushed me more. I’m so thankful for Drew and Sara our leaders and for how God’s using them to touch our lives!
Next week is forgiveness. STRANGE since I just blogged about how God’s been screaming that word at me lately. 🙂