“A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a citadel.” Prov 18:19
The last couple of days have been painful. The cry-in-the-bathroom-where-no-one-can hear-you-kind of pain….but it’s not been all pain. In fact, I’ve just had one of the most amazing indirect boomerang kind of blessings – a direct result of one of my children’s learning disabilities. If I can make it even slightly coherent, I want to share it because Jesus is so intricately amazing! In fact, Jesus is such a relief to think about … He never misunderstands, is never impatient, never assumes the worst, never blames. He does not get distracted, and He does not discourage.
First, the backstory. I’ve hurt this year as a long term friend broke ties because of misunderstandings. And ministry was involved. (Yeah, this not the blessing part.) I’ve mourned, asked forgiveness, gotten counsel, spoken truth, sought restoration, asked the Lord for healing … but from what I can tell, the relationship is dead until Jesus resurrects it.
Complicated relationships are not new to me … hidden disabilities are spelled c-o-m-p-l-i-c-a-t-e-d. But even with all “that” experience I’ve been beyond confused. What were my choices? Did I miss what Jesus wanted from me? What were NOT my issues? My Christian friendships are usually a steady arena for me. My brain was TIRED of it.
In a completely UNrelated event, one of our college kids came home for fall break (a misnomer for LD kids) totally snowed under with reading. I offered to skim a few skinny texts with thick words on ethics. How hard could it be to highlight the main points, and be a study partner?? Besides, Life is a constant study on ethics. Now granted, I’ve not made that offer to one of my college kids before … and I have to say, some 40 hrs of intense read-re-read-every-word-and-sentence-later, bogged down in “secondary causes and essential beings” I wondered what possessed me to jump in the deep end.
BUT (and here’s the stunning part) in those two weekends of study and dialogue, the Lord systematically, logically, clearly, framed the whole confusing year of my hurting relationship, dividing into decision trees the critical junctions we had faced, helping me clarify my core values (personally and in ministry), pointing out my inconsistencies, while reinforcing my good choices.
And I just have to say, I did NOT see that coming! After all the soul searching, prayer, counsel, Scripture, God decides to clear things up through my young adult’s learning disability. I am stunned. Clarified, but stunned.
Why do you say, “my way is hidden from the Lord, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?… The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator … does not become weary or tired. HIS understanding is inscrutable [mysterious]. He gives strength to the weary [mentally, emotionally], and to him [or her] who lacks might He increases power. Is 40: 27 – 29 (emphasis added)
Clarified and amazed,