As the week comes to an end, some of us are closing the folder, at least temporarily, on our difficult relationships, our Green Delicious Apple friends, and those we wouldn’t even call friends. As we straighten our desks, file away that which is finished, and set aside that which still needs to be done, we’re also closing the drawer on those difficult relationships that stress us throughout the week.
But others of us are looking toward a couple of days where the conflict is actually more prevalent, the opportunities for sand paper moments even increase. Some of us see the work week as an escape and the weekend as a potential battleground. But whether you are more prone to encounter difficult people during the work week or on your weekend, my prayer for you today is that God uses those encounters to work good in your life.
May you grow from the conflict, produce more fruit because of the pruning and exhibit true grace in all circumstances. And as the sand paper people in your life rub against you as only they can, may the result be a luster and glow that reflects well on the Lord, Jesus Christ. Oh, be still, dear friends, and let the scratchy, rough surface of their words, their demeanor, their attitudes, and their actions polish you to perfection. Not that I pray for abuse; that is never of God. But testy, difficult people can serve a holy purpose in our lives as God works to produce His character in our frail, human hearts. And so I simply pray that we all will successfully be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. I pray that we show patience, endurance, joy, self-control, and goodness in the face of stubbornness, selfishness, arrogance, and short-temperateness.
In all things, I pray that we give thanks, for this is God’s will for our lives. May we yield to His work…even when He chooses to soften our rough edges through the sand paper people in our lives.
Finally, may we all find a refuge in the arms of our perfect and loving God. When others rub us wrong, may we run to Him with all our hurt feelings, our drained souls, our offended egos, and our weary hearts. He will soothe, He will heal, He will restore and He will fill us back up as nothing or no one else can.