Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Relationships 101"

This past Sunday our pastor's sermon was on relationships.  I can't seem to locate my bulletin and notes at the moment, but if I remember correctly his title was, "Relationships 101".  He based it on I Thessalonians 3:17-18 ... at least those are the two verses that stick out in my mind but there may have been a few more.

Anyhoo, it has had me thinking and praying all week about relationships I have within my family and friends.  Verse 17 has been replaying over and over in my mind ...

"But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short while— in person, not in spirit—were all the more eager with great desire to see your face." ~ I Thessalonians 3:17

Who do I most want to spend my time with?  Who am I most eager to see?

Those were questions Caleb asked us during his sermon, and immediately several names came to my mind.  As looked around the room my heart would smile just at the thought of spending time with the friends I had around me.  I then thought about others ... family members and friends who don't go to my church.  I thought of my Mama and my Nannie and how I can't wait to see them again some day.  And I thought of Jesus and how I can't wait to spend eternity crawled up in His lap sharing my heart.

But almost as quick as my heart was smiling thinking of those I long to spend time with, I became sad and angry at the thought of having to spend time with others.

I know that sounds awful, but you must admit you have those thoughts too.  We all do.

I have more than my fair share of those people in my life, but I'm also very blessed to be surrounded with people who I love to just be with.  I love just being with people.  I love and I need it.  Especially lately.  Spending very much time alone at all since my Mama died has not been a good thing.  I don't do well at all.

As I've been thinking about relationships this past week, I've thought a lot about those who have rallied around me the past couple of months.  Actually since I became sick four and half years ago.  Mostly the past two months have stuck out in my mind, and the Lord has reminded of how blessed I am.

And Satan has reminded me of those who have failed me.

As of late, one person keeps coming to my mind more than others.  It's painful, and it makes me angry at the same time to even think about her.  This is someone I was close to when we were kids, and we spent a lot of time together.  She has yet to mention my mom's passing to me.  She didn't come to the funeral home, nor did she come to the funeral.  She hasn't called or texted.  She hasn't even said anything to me on Facebook.  I knew I would be seeing her recently, and I dreaded it to the point it made me sick.  I really didn't know how I would handle it.  I am not good at pretending everything is okay.  Frankly, I've spent so much energy trying to pretend lately I'm exhausted.  I was fearful my anger would get the best of me, and I would say something I would regret.  I almost didn't go to this event because of it.

Even when I saw her face to face, she still didn't mention it.  I wanted to scream at her and ask her, "You do remember my Mama died, right?  Do you even care?".

The Lord was gracious and held my tongue.

And He was also quick to remind me of how I have failed others also.  Family and friends that I haven't been there for like I should have been.  He showed me just how self-righteous I was being.


I can't control how others treat me, but I can control how I respond.  I allowed Satan to squeeze his way into a time the Lord was showing me how blessed I am.  Just as Caleb reminded us on Sunday, he comes to rob, steal and kill our joy.  And I let him.

As I've been so vividly been shown my own sin, I've thought about how I've also neglected my relationship with the Lord so many times.  I don't spend nearly enough time with Him.  I don't pray as often as I should, and I'm certainly not spending enough time in His word.

I need to be more focused on nurturing my relationship with Jesus, and less time focused on how someone has hurt me.

My relationship with the Lord should be the most important relationship I have in my life.  He is the One I should long to see more than any other.  That's the first and most important thing I should learn in "Relationships 101".

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