Deeper Day 353: Thorn in my side

As I have pondered a few relationships that are in my life right now I heard, “Thorn in my side.” Then I realized that I keep coming across these people that feel like they are a thorn in my side. Some would say, “Your spirit draws them to you.” And on some occasions, I would agree, but today what I saw was this…

I continually come across these people that serve as a thorn in my side because, each time I learn more and more about how to deal with them. They are ultimately not going to be a thorn. They will ultimately become ineffectual weapons the enemy has attempted to use to create conflict in my life and ministry. But God wants me to learn how to stand firm against opposition and He will sometimes use people to strengthen me. He will use the weakness of others to strengthen my weak places, if I will let Him. Eventually, as I am healed and strengthened, I will be able to love these challenging people. I will be able to better pour into them. I will have more to offer.

I am daily reminding my children of what the Bible says…

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be children 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. Matthew 5:44-45

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Romans 12:14

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:32-36

These scriptures remind me that in my pursuit of God, I will come across those who dislike me and those who don’t love me, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am to love them. I have no choice really. Well, I do, but if I want to grow and be continually useful to Him, then I need to learn how to love the difficult and unloving.

Today, I ask you, “Are there people in your life that you have written off as unlovable?” If so, I encourage you to seek God, and ask if there is anything He desires for you to do to show them His love. Is there any act you are supposed to bless them with as a love offering to God? Yes, there are seasons where love means stepping back and allowing distance, this is another healthy part of life. I simply encourage you to press into Him and ask, “Is this a season of speaking love to someone through moving closer, or is this a season of allowing distance?” Then have the courage to do whichever He leads you to do.

Prayer Moment: God, please keep me ever aware of the season I’m in. Help me to love those You’ve placed around me. Give me courage to build bridges when I need to, and restraint to stand back when that’s what You desire. I long to be nearer to You. Don’t let anyone or anything come between that. I am Yours completely. I adore and exalt You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.