Seen inside this week’s Bible study material:
"Pray that learners will desire to set aside disagreements with other believers so that they can continue participating in God’s mission."
Ugh! Been there. Done that. Threw away the T-shirt.
A couple of years back, I found myself smack-dab-in-the-middle of one of the most gut-wrenching misunderstandings/disagreements/irritations (I could go on!) I’ve ever been in the midst of -- in church, no less. Walking away from the situation wasn’t an option. I was the pastor! (I couldn’t exactly change churches, y’know?) In addition, this person was vital to our mission, and no way did I want her to walk away either. So . . . we worked it out. Easy to type out. Easy to read. Not so easy to actually do.
There were tears. (I don’t know that I have ever cried so much in “one sitting” my entire life, and, people, I’ve been through some deep valleys where lots of snot was slung!) And almost as many words. Heated words. Accusing words. Bitter, swallowed words, deeply felt but better left unsaid at moments. Finally there were pleading words, begging Papa-God to heal our hearts, and humble words, asking for forgiveness and understanding. It was one of the rockiest, most difficult paths I’ve ever walked, and I’m sure my co-laborer felt the same. But we both came through it more resolved than ever to work together toward the building of the Kingdom. And you know what else? Miraculously -- it was definitely a God-thing -- we came out with a deeper, stronger, more committed love for one another (and appreciation) than we would’ve ever had otherwise.
Do I ever want to go through that again? Not in this lifetime! But ya know what? I would if that’s what it took to be part of the team that builds something lasting. (Heck, even if that’s what it took just to love my brothers and sisters better.)
The mission. Bigger than me. Bigger that us. And, yet, we are part of it. Awesome. Definitely worth walking a few rough roads.
Until next time . . .
Grins and blessings!