Be Good To Each Other
August 20, 2013 | My Jottings
There are times in life when things get so complicated, so difficult, so painful, that we feel paralyzed and can barely put one foot in front of the other. Whenever things get like this in my life, I just want it to stop, NOW. I want relief, YESTERDAY. If my circumstances would allow it, I could easily be the agoraphobic hermit who rarely goes out, who takes to her bed in a fetal position, and whose prayers are reduced to streaming tears and two-word prayers like, “Lord, please.” “Jesus, help!”
But I do go out when I must, and I don’t often take to my bed, because as most of you know, I’m the Chief Plate Spinner here and I have people depending on me. I have whimpering times when I wish someone would just take care of me, and I’ve even been sniveling enough to whisper those words, “When is someone going to take care of me for a change?” Oh brother, even typing that makes me want to gag. But sometimes it’s true.
Yesterday I asked the Lord for a clean slate. I realize that each day is just that already, a new chance to walk with Him, to be cleansed and set out on His path again, to receive the innumerable mercies He lovingly pours out. But I needed to mark the clean slate somehow. So I signed up for a daily reading plan at She Reads Truth, an online movement encouraging believing women to dig into their Bibles each day for the spiritual food and strength and help they need. I know a few people who have been following along with She Reads Truth for a long time, but I had never made the commitment. If you look at the site you’ll see there’s a current plan being followed right now, and there are other plans you can choose from. I chose one on prayer, and have so far loved sitting down these past two mornings after everyone in my household has been cared for, and just baring my tired soul to my Father. Each day there’s a short but meaty devotional, then sections of scripture to read, and then I take notes, writing down the things I feel the Lord is shining a light on. I sit in quiet and in stillness, and I turn my heart and mind to Him, and wait. And I write in my gratitude journal, loving the picture of how I’m passing through His very own gates (“I will enter His gates with Thanksgiving in my heart….”) when I’m being thankful. Today I thanked the Lord that Edith the scruffy Schnauzer jumped up next to me on the chair when I was praying, wanting to be close. I thanked Him for air conditioning on a day when the first heat advisory in years has been issued. I thanked Him for a clean slate and how He doesn’t give clean slates grudgingly.
After I got up out of my comfy black and red plaid overstuffed chair, I asked the Lord to guide my day and help me to do something, anything, that would be pleasing to Him. And when I prayed that prayer, the tears fell. God has everything. He is the source of all the power of the universe and doesn’t need a thing. He has it all — lakes, trees, oceans, the cattle on a thousand hills, the stars, galaxies and beyond. But there is something He doesn’t get as often as He deserves, and that is people who want to bring blessing and pleasure to Him, instead of continually asking that God would bring blessing and pleasure to them. And in that moment I believe the Lord nudged me on how pleasing Him could happen today. Two things came to mind. I have two dear friends who need prayer today, and I have and will be lifting them up to Him all day long. No fancy words, no eloquent discourses will escape from my lips, most likely. But I will pray for them, and keep bringing them to Him, over and over. And the second thing that came to mind was simple and profoundly this, “Be good to each other.” There are many verses in Scripture that say this in one way or another, so this isn’t a new concept.
For me, this could mean giving an extra hug to Michael. It could mean carefully and genuinely listening to someone talk for a long time about things I don’t find interesting. It could mean that when I go to pick up prescriptions today, the person behind the counter might need me somehow to be good to them. What would that mean? I have no idea, but I know God can prod and help me when the time comes. It could mean giving more money than I’m comfortable with to a ministry that serves the poor. It could mean holding my tongue.
For another person, being good to each other might mean that even though her spouse is either driving her crazy or bringing her grief, she can still be good to him. (In no way am I talking about enabling, either.) Or it could mean reading a book to a child when ten other things are calling your name. It could mean turning the computer off. Being good to each other might mean to not roll your eyes when your wife says that again. It could mean saying, “It’s hard for me to say this, but I was wrong. Will you forgive me?” It might mean refusing to speak badly about someone even if we think they deserve it. It could mean blessing someone who’s been mean to you.
I’m on a prayer/goodness adventure today. I’m praying for my friends, and I’m watching to see how the Lord wants me to be good to the people in my life.
How about you? Can you think of how “being good to each other” might look in your life? I would be honored if you would share.
Lord, I ask you to bless every person who takes the time to stop by this humble spot on the web today. Touch their lives, encourage them, make Yourself known to them, set them on the right paths, and save them (and me!) from all that we need saving from…. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.