Saturday, July 10, 2010
I had an object lesson from God this week! It was so cool, I just need to share it.
A couple of days ago, my devotional pointed me to Matthew 5:43-45. Jesus is speaking here:
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good; and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."
A familiar passage, right? After all, I've known for years that we're supposed to love our enemies and pray for them. And I've also known for years that God sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. But I NEVER put them together before!
The statement about what God does (causing his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sending rain on the righteous and the unrighteous) was Jesus' illustration of how we are to imitate our Father by loving our enemies!
On Thursday, I saw this in action. I had a local contractor come over to quote my new gravel driveway. He had been here once before with a load of topsoil. He was frustrated on both occasions because of the wet weather, and his language was so foul that I hurt inside. But that inner voice told me not to react to the language, so I didn't. He started to tell me about how he was having financial difficulties because of all the rain - it's been too wet for him to complete some of the jobs he has won. As an independent contractor, he's got his money sunk into his equipment and the notes on the same. All the time he's telling me this, the language is just pouring out of his mouth and he kept stopping and saying, "I don't know why I'm telling you all this."
So he got the job measured and calculated. I agreed that it was a fair price and we arranged to have him do the job on Friday. As he left, I was prompted to speak words of encouragement to him - it will be a beautiful sunny day tomorrow. And then I went out on a limb - I'm praying that you will have beautiful weather over the next week so that you can complete those jobs that are waiting. It startled him, but he didn't say much.
Friday was a gorgeous, sunny day. He came over and did a great job. (And no foul language at all!) As I paid him, I thanked him for the work he did and stated again that I was praying good weather for him to complete the other jobs.
Why am I so confident that he'll have good weather? Because my Father causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good. I reminded my Father of His statement and asked that He would show His love for this family by giving them some of that sunshine.
What will be the end result of this object lesson? I don't know all the things God will do with the encounter this week, but I know my eyes have been opened wider. I have a better understanding of what it means to love someone. And I pray that I'll remember this and make choices to demonstrate it long into the future.