by Rev Steve Nickodemus
Refusing to Give Up.
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“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
If you have ever been to the Oregon coast, and tried wading in the water, you know how cold that water is! When kids first put their toes in they scream with the shock of the frigid temperature, and the surprise at that first cold encounter.
Yet again and again the children rush back into the water yelling, jumping, and laughing, until they begin to overcome that first shock, and they actually begin to enjoy the encounter. What started out as a painful meeting ends in fond memories.
Isn’t that so often true in our encounters with difficult people in our lives? In our first encounter with them, we may experience them as angry, reactive, negative, and even downright mean. We may jump back in emotional pain, and reaction, to them meeting our good will with such venom.
Then we get to make a decision. Will we continue to love that person, with that stubborn love our Lord Jesus has for us, or will we run away and avoid them? Will we continue to pray for them, and love them as Jesus loves us, or will we sit afar off on the beach and sulk in our hurt feelings?
The Lord Jesus has loved us, and overcome our stubborn sin and rebelliousness against Him, how shall we do any less? As we learn to love those who are difficult, we may experience a “strange warming,” even a delight in overcoming evil with the goodness of God. Our Heavenly Father desires that all would come to know His truth, and be saved. Even the difficult people we encounter.
Dear Lord, grant me faith and stubborn love in caring for those who meet me with coldness. Warm up my heart, and theirs, that they too might experience the love of Jesus in their lives. Amen.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado