Monday, August 2, 2010

Patience, Love, Forgiveness...

It's harsh to hear that your best friends have gone behind your back and started rumors or assumed things they shouldn't. I know. It's happened to me before. I'm the type of person that hates to know that anyone is on bad terms with me. I like to be friends with everyone and know that there is nothing between us. When I hear that someone is not on good terms with me, and that they have to work through something, I have to take a deep breath. Then, all these questions flood through my mind: "What did I do? What did I say? Did I do something wrong? Why?" My patience is at my wit's end waiting for the confrontation. It's hard for me to trust and rest. I find myself over and over, praying, "God, I'm impatient, and worried, and wanting to know what is going on. Make me trust you." Sometimes I find it being put first in my mind, before God and before everything else important so that I find myself praying, "God, I'm making this an idol. My relationship with so and so is being put above you right now. Help me to put you before this worry and impatience." As the days go by, I get upset that this person is taking so long. I say to myself, "Why is this taking forever? Don't they know that I am nervous and itching to know how to fix this? Do they think that I did whatever I did maliciously?" Whoa, back to prayer, I must go: "God, make me to love this person. I value our friendship with which you have gifted me. Please help me to be thankful that this person is bringing whatever of my faults to my attention so I can work on them."

Then, the day finally comes when my fears are relieved and the confrontation or the confession of my friend is expressed. If it is a confrontation, it makes me thankful. I have a friend who was not afraid to tell me what they thought and saw, even if it meant their relationship with me. If it is a confession of something they did to me or behind my back, I have a whole new set of things to think about. First, forgiveness. Usually, it is not hard for me to be forgiving. I just want things to go back to normal again and life to go on and nothing to be in between us. But then I struggle with pride. I get puffed up in my mind saying, "Yes, they sinned against me and they really don't deserve the forgiveness I've given them." Guess what? Yup, prayer time again. "God, you know I am thankful for these friends and their willingness to bring to my attention something they did against me. I thank you that I'm ready to forgive them. Now, Lord, when I'm tempted to be prideful about my giving them forgiveness, help me to remember the undeserving forgiveness with which you've forgiven my sins. Help me to be humble."

Then, while I'm working on all these things, I think that the friendship should go back to normal. Ah, we're back to the beginning. Patience again is what I need.

"I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry." (Psalm 40:1)