When you feel that they just don’t care

wordswag_1542287279402

She felt invisible. A good Mom, she has loved and cared for her family and seldom receives even a word of appreciation. Her heart is wounded by their thoughtlessness.  He is aged and cries often, not because of physical pain, but because his family is so busy that they forget to include him, in spite of years of caring for them, giving up his own comfort to provide what they needed at the time.

Perhaps you can identify with this, having your own story about being overlooked, ignored, or forgotten by others?

When we give ourselves away, dig in and try to make a difference, only to be misunderstood and/or misjudged, it hurts!  The story of good people who get caught in the crossfire of personalities and egos at work, in their home, or at their church is an all too familiar one. When we find ourselves in those situations we have a choice to make. Will we get bitter?

Bitterness, a self-defensive reflex that says, “Take care of yourself. Trust no one. Build walls.” is chosen so naturally when we are hurting. We might want to retaliate.  Let me tell you something you probably know – bitterness is a poison that is indiscriminate. We cannot pour a cup for another without wounding our own soul.

So, how can we get better instead?

It is no cliché to say – “Remember who you’re ultimately serving!”  Jesus said that even giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty man or visiting a lonely one is a gift to Him. “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:40, NIV)  He knows exactly why we did what we did and never misunderstands or forgets.  Sobering, isn’t it? Hopefully, it encourages to do good even when we’re unappreciated.

One night, long ago, at a time when I was doing my absolute best to try to lead a church that was broken, a man I had trusted turned against me. He accused me and opposed me at every turn. He saw only a part of what was going on, his judgment was clouded by other associations. After months of being attacked, again and again, my heart was broken, my strength nearly gone. I never came closer to making the choice to leave pastoral ministry than I did one night after yet another tempestuous meeting.

Walking alone in the darkness of the church’s sanctuary, with tears streaming down my face that came as much from anger as from sorrow, the Spirit whispered oh so clearly “What do I know about this situation? Have I released you from your calling?”  I found comfort in committing the whole conflict to him, taking my part, and trusting Him to care for the rest.  The grace of His embrace gave me new strength and provided the freedom I needed to pursue forgiveness and reconciliation. It was not simple, nor was it easy!

If you’re hurting, dangerously close to slipping into bitterness, remember Who it is that you serve, ultimately.

We must not return fire, when others fire on us. Whoa, that’s a tough call, isn’t it? Peter tells us “If you’re treated badly for good behavior and continue in spite of it to be a good servant, that is what counts with God. This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. … He never did one thing wrong, Not once said anything amiss. They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right.” (1 Peter 2:20-23, The Message)

We actively seek the good of those who hurt us. It is not enough just to face this passively! Going beyond mere non-response supernaturally we move to bless them. “Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” (Luke 6:28, NLT)

How can we choose this way? Who will care for us? All of this rests on the secure foundation of the Lord’s love for us and His keen insight into the circumstances that have broken our hearts.

IF your soul is battered, IF your heart is broken, WHEN your mind cries out for vindication – go to Jesus’ embrace. He knows the Truth and even if all Hell accuses, it is He alone that makes us right in the sight of the Father.

Here’s a word from the Word. Make it your prayerful meditation today.
“Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have led a blameless life;
I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;
for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.

I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites;
I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked.
I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, O LORD,
proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
I love the house where you live,
O LORD, the place where your glory dwells.”  
(Psalm 26:1-8, NIV)  Amen.

__________

Good, Good Father  (listen, learn, and worship at this link)

I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

I’ve seen many searching for answers
Far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers
Only You provide
Because You know just what we need
Before we say a word

You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Love so undeniable I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love love love

You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

Anthony Brown | Pat Barrett © 2014 Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Common Hymnal Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s