I attended a women’s conference recently in my town. Those are always the best. No travel expenses. Lots of friends there. No late hours. And you already know all the best restaurants in town!
This conference was led by a Bible teacher who actively engages the women in worship and prayer. On Friday evening, every woman who could, and would, was asked to kneel or sit prostrate on the floor, as to sit at the feet of Jesus. The teacher led us in prayers of repentance, pleas for restoration, pleas for forgiveness, etc. At that moment, I left a thorn in my heart at Jesus’ feet.
I am sure this thorn was self-induced through something like insecurity, jealousy or pride. But I have never admitted that before now. Of course, I blamed someone else; this beautiful lady in our community who I met at church when I first moved here. This lady seemed kind to me in early introductions and common conversations. But as time moved, it seemed she did not like me at all. I felt crushed and left out at times as it appeared, she was over-talking me or stepping in front of me when standing in the same circle of conversation.
Needless, to say the enemy bred even more insecurities and doubts from this drama he had created in my mind. I spent countless mental hours trying to determine what I did that might have offended her. I even prayed about it. But I prayed for her to change, not for me to change.
As a result, I have walked around with resentment and hurt for several years. I would literally cringe and feel intimidated when she was around. What’s worse? I even made snide remarks to one of my besties going into this conference after seeing her there.
I felt so bad all during the conference. I was under conviction of the Holy Spirit.
So, I released that mind- over- matter, thorny situation to Jesus that night. How liberating! I asked Jesus to forgive me for being resentful to her and for judging her. I asked that Jesus forgive her if she was in the wrong in any way because she has no idea how I felt.
I left that resentment and bitterness with Jesus and grabbed his mercy and forgiveness. That thorny piece of my heart is restored! Thank you, Jesus!
When I saw her the next day, I was at peace. I finally graced her with a genuine smile and a genuine hello. May God bless that beautiful sister in Christ.
So many times, we place too much emphasis on ‘fitting in’, even at church. But that doesn’t matter. What matters, is whether or not we belong to Jesus Christ, King of kings, Lord of lords and belong to the Kingdom of God. That’s our perfect fit!
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And letthe peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” – Colossians 3:12-17