Friday, September 23, 2016

Best of the Best Series: Loving the Unlovable

There are certain jobs God has called me to do in which I find great joy.  There are others that often make me downright miserable, which really doesn't make sense to me.  Aren't we supposed to be joyful when we're doing the Lord's will?  Shouldn't we find peace in knowing that we're doing the things He's called us to do?

So, recently, these questions led me to thinking that maybe this one particular task that I dreaded was not really something He had called me to do.  Perhaps I had misunderstood.  Or perhaps it was His will many years ago when I first took on the responsibility, but maybe it was time for me to step away.  After all, deep down, the only reason I feel like I do it is because no one else will.  Is that a good reason to do something?  If I gave up this dreaded responsibility, wouldn't it free up more time and energy for me to do the things I'm sure God called me to do?

All that being said, I didn't want to step away from the position until I was absolutely certain that that was what God wanted me to do.  Being in God's will is more important to me than my own personal comfort.  So, I prayed and prayed and prayed.  I waited.  I listened.  And to be honest, all the while, I kept hoping that God would let me off the hook.  I didn't want the job any longer.  It was too time-consuming and FAR too stressful.  It created in me a terrible attitude, and I personally didn't think it was worth losing my testimony over.  But, evidently, God had another opinion on the matter.

Instead of taking away the responsibility, He actually placed even more of it in my lap.  Just, boom, here you go!  Obviously, I wasn't happy with this response.  In fact, I was quite disappointed and frustrated.  Didn't God care that I was unhappy in this position?  I know He understands how much it stresses me out and causes an array of attitudes to swell up within me.  What was He thinking?  How can this be for my good. . . or anyone else's, for that matter?

The answer to that question came to me in the form of an e-mail from a friend.  She was discussing her own current trial which involved an angry, mean-spirited coworker.  In her e-mail, she stated that even though she wanted to be mean right back, she kept hearing the still, small voice reminding her that her job was to love the unlovable.  At the time, my focus was on my friend's predicament, but later, as I mulled over that phrase, "love the unlovable," I realized that it doesn't only refer to people.  It also refers to circumstances.

To drive the point further home, my dear husband pointed out that maybe God wouldn't allow me to step down from the position until I straightened out my attitude.  That was certainly not what I wanted to hear, but deep down, I knew he had a good point.  My attitude about the entire situation was stinky, and I knew it.  But rather than stick with it and go through the effort to fix my attitude, I wanted to simply run from the problem.  It definitely seemed like the easier route, but I know that easier is not always better.

I think maybe God is waiting for me to accept His will for my life (in all areas) and to learn to love the unlovable.  Sure, it's easy to do the pleasant tasks, the ones I find joy in, but where's the sacrifice in that?  God has given me this job to do, unpleasant though it may be, and He is longing for me to find joy in that service.  Unfortunately, this will require a lot of work on my part, especially in changing my attitude and thought process toward the position.  However, I can rest assured that I am not working alone.  Who better to teach me how to love the unlovable than Love Himself?

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. - Philippians 2:13
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