Tag Archives: Strength

Why are they so difficult?

We all know that person, the one we find “difficult” in one way or another. Have you ever wondered why you’re the one that deals with that person? Whether they’re selfish, argumentative, condescending or just simply rude, somehow they know how to create chaos, and drama surrounds them. They drain a person and their actions become tiring.

Why are we the one that deals with that person?  Is He asking us to handle something, is this an exercise to learn something, but what? It’s easy to respond, and not in a kind manner.

1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

 

The Threat…

Everyday I hear it… it’s real, not just words being thrown around. I’m never really sure if I should respond or just listen. How does it happen that one person has the audacity to subtly hint to others of the peril they face, and not because of their own actions, but due to those by others.

It’s baffling, and frustrating to hold on so tight as everything begins to fall apart. There isn’t a safety net. No one will pick up the pieces. No one will know about the threat. No one will stop the person doing wrong.

Psalms 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

Don’t give in…

It’s difficult to not react, to not repay the wrong that is done to you, even when the attacks continue to come. For months I feel as if I’ve been in a battle, alone on the front facing many who believe that it’s their right to attack an innocent person as they cause harm to not only myself but so many others. Every day is a new battle, it’s tiring and it chips away at the strength it takes to champion and defend those that are innocent.

Prayer helps, it really does; however, the battle continues. I’ve asked numerous times why I’m subject to this, what is it that I’ve done or what am I supposed to learn… I don’t have an answer, I only know that I’ve suffered, my family has suffered as well others. But, seeking revenge or even the thought of retaliation isn’t an option; I’d suffer and not come through this as I must stay strong and move forward with good, not evil.

Romans 12:17-21: 17 If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good. 18 Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody. 19 Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God’s anger do it. For the scripture says, “I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord.” 20 Instead, as the scripture says: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink; for by doing this you will make them burn with shame.” 21 Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good.

Unanswered prayers…

Every day, it’s the same, seeking something that seems to be out of reach… financial stability, health, career, relationships. Why do these escape my grasp? Why isn’t everything in order, just as I need them to be? Or is it these will be in order when He feels the time is right?

It seems crazy, doesn’t it? Life should be simple, a job that pays the bills with something left over to put into your savings, a career where the possibilities are endless, a relationship that grows each day, and never a worry about your health faltering. Sounds like the perfect life, one that most wish for but never find as all of the pieces never quite fall into place.

My favorite Christian author has written about unanswered prayers, hitting the nail on the head, so to speak, with her words. All too often we forget that there is someone to help, not always in the way we think, but how He sees us needing His help when the time is right. She points out that no matter how rough it gets, by singing God praises we will receive His blessings.

I had to process those words and apply them to my life…

Years ago I worked for a Fortune 500 company. I really enjoyed going to work every day, I did well. My position, my salary, and benefits were good, and I was excited about the projects I was assigned. Things were good, each month there was always money left over, I worked well with everyone, my career was on the right path; however, I was naïve and without warning I found my amazing career spiraling out of control. It seemed as if every corner I turned the path was blocked, and I struggled as doors began to close. I was distraught and couldn’t understand what had happened, who had I wronged?

Finally a friend pulled me aside and let me know that they couldn’t stay quiet any longer, that I didn’t deserve being treated so poorly. My friend shared the story of how I hadn’t done anything wrong to warrant my downfall, that a small group of coworkers, two women, three men and a spouse of one of the women had formulated a plan months ago to force me out of the company; they wanted me gone.

I was devastated; I had no idea that these people despised me so much that they were willing to ruin my career and financial well-being. It was difficult for me to grasp how people that I worked with each day could be so cruel to sabotage my life right in front of my eyes because I was being recognized for my work that contributed greatly to the success of the company. It was then I found myself praying, and praying, and praying. I needed help. I needed His strength. Each day I went to work with a smile on my face, acting as if nothing had changed. Each day I prayed that He would end the attacks. Each day I prayed that He would help me understand how I had wronged my coworkers in hopes that I could make amends.

Then the day came, the day I had prayed for. I had no expectations about His solution, I just knew He would take care of me, and He did. Without warning an executive in another division proposed how the value of my talents would benefit their area of the company. As I held back tears, I eagerly agreed to the transfer. I knew my prayers had been answered.

Work went well after my transfer. His generosity was humbling. Once again I enjoyed my work and was able to keep my distance from those that were not beyond harming others. As the months passed, stories reached my ears about the group that had caused me so much pain, they had turned on each other; I wasn’t surprised. Even though I only stayed with the company for a few more years I thanked Him every day for His strength and wisdom.

Matthew 21:22: And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.

 

The Actions of Others

How we react to the actions of others reflects on who we are, correct? But… it’s not easy to stand by and take it when we’re being attacked, or who wouldn’t jump in and rescue their friend when they’re in need of help? Does it make you a bad person for not backing down?

The other day I was reading a nicely written piece about our actions, your actions, doing what is right, and so on. One line that really stayed with me was “we should always take the right actions even when it’s difficult”, you know, if you talk the talk then walk the walk. We all come across those that test us, and pray that our actions reflect who we are.

Just recently at one of my children’s sporting events, a group of parents and grandparents of a team that was participating at the same event displayed such poor behavior toward the opposing teams, their fans and others at the event that their actions adversely affected a child. The child, who did not know these people, was being bullied and even though officials spoke with the adults that were behaving badly, in their eyes they were doing nothing wrong.

Interestingly enough, the parents of the child that had become the focus of the poor behavior did something that made me take notice… they rose above all of the harsh words and walked away. I could only smile as this couple surrounded their child and calmly made their way to their vehicle even with the bullies on their heels.

I had the opportunity to commend the parents and their daughter at a sporting event the other day on their actions as I was very impressed. As we talked about the incident, I learned that several officials attempted to diffuse the situation and that this isn’t the first time that group of adults had bullied a child and their team has been penalized due to their fans poor behavior.

Even though the bullies weren’t going to give up, neither the parents nor their daughter were going to respond to the taunting. I was curious as to how they were able to keep their composer and not lash out. The mom’s response was simple, “what good would it have done to act as they were… what would that have taught our daughter.” If only more people would walk the walk.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

It’s Just a Game

The other day as I watched my daughter play basketball I could tell by her facial expression that something wasn’t right. She’s a fierce competitor, one of those players people enjoy watching because she plays the game. She learned at an early age that no matter how you’re doing, you are always a good sport; a gracious winner and a gracious loser.

Her coach had the girls playing zone and my daughter was guarding the other team’s biggest player who dwarfed my daughter quite considerably. No worries there, my daughter isn’t intimidated by size, she knows how to adjust her game and handled the other girl really well.

As the game progressed, my daughter’s quickness and ability to anticipate the other player’s moves frustrated her opponent, so much so that the her opponent began to play rough, not the normal pushing on each other, she took every opportunity to throw her elbow into my daughter’s side, scratch her with her fingernails, knock into her with her knees and rear-end, and anything else she could think of that would physically bother my little girl.

With the full on physical assault taking place and no whistle from the referee, my ball player once again stepped up her game and continued to outplay her opponent… and that’s when the verbal attack began. As time began to wind down, and the score sitting so close that either team could win, I could see by my daughter’s expression that she had had enough. At the time I didn’t realize that the 11 year old girl my daughter was facing had been using profanity toward her and that was her breaking point.

Even though the outcome of the game wasn’t in my daughter’s team’s favor, my little girl hung tough and didn’t let off until the buzzer signaled the end of the game. I’m proud of my daughter. She handled herself with class on and off the court.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.