Oh no! What we gonna do? The king likes Daniel More than me and you! (~Veggietales)
I used to think everyone needed to like me.
I really thought it was a Godly thing. That it was a keeping of my testimony. That a Godly testimony was to be thought of in a positive way by every single person who had ever crossed my path. I was pretty successful at it, too.
I arrived at the mid-point in my life and didn't have an enemy in the world. Oh, there were a few people for whom I had lost respect and I personally didn't really care for or trust. But even they did not know that. I kept such thoughts to myself. I am not very confrontational. I had very early training in such things.
Romans 12:18 "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."
Proverbs 16:7 "When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."
I take the Word of God very literally. I tend to take most everything literally.
My optometrist asked me a question recently as I sat in her chair with that big eyeglass machine situated before my face. She settled in to her rolly chair next to me after she had made the adjustments she deemed necessary and then asked, "Can you see that chart?"
To which I replied, "Yes."
That's all. Just the word 'yes'. I didn't realize that she was just looking at me expectedly. I had a two-ton black glasses machine in front of me. But she was. After a long pause, she asked, "Could you read it for me?"
Then we both laughed as though we were watching slapstick comedy, except I had provided the entertainment. It honestly had not occurred to me that her expectation was for me to read that chart. She had asked me if I could read it. And I could.
See, I think pretty literally. Okay, maybe very literally. Enough said. Good thing that optometrist is also my friend.
Okay, back on topic. I lived peaceably among all men. Good job, Barbara.
I would hear preaching every now and again about righteous living causing a person to have enemies. That there will be those who will hate you. It just didn't click in my little brain.
And then things happened to me that were out of my control.
And God taught me what He wanted me to know all along. It's Him and only Him, and no one else. My testimony is my heart toward Him. My relationship with Him. His righteousness alone in me, and nothing of myself. Nothing else.
And then I saw those verses again. Now with my eyes opened. (Pardon the eye exam pun.)
"If it be possible..." So maybe sometimes it's not possible.
"...as much as lieth in you..." So maybe sometimes it's not within me in this fleshly body to control such things.
"...even his enemies..." Hmmm. Is God saying that there will be those who will not like me? That I will have enemies?
John 15:18-20 "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you."
Matthew 5:44- "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."
So now I get it. How I managed to get through the first half of my life without being hated and despitefully used, I don't know. The Lord must have known I couldn't handle it. Or maybe I was not willing to stand as firmly as I now am willing to do.
But now I get it. And I sing with the vegetables with a new understanding. It's okay that the 'wisemen' didn't like Daniel. I'm okay with them wanting to "throw me in the Tigris and let me float awhile; then they'll all sit back and watch me meet a hungry crocodile." (~Veggietales)
All that mattered was what God thought of Daniel. And I'm good with that! :)
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