Lessons Learned the Hard Way

“Let us love without hypocrisy, abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, perservering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:9-15 NASB

There are some who say this is impossible to live by. A lot of people know this verse but how many of us are challenged to live it out day by day. I must say I struggled with it. It seems too much to do, almost, unattainable. But God would not have put it in His word had He not intended for us to strive for the excellence that it calls us to.

Romans is my favorite book of the Bible. It was the book that pointed me to Christ himself as I searched for the answers of life and living. Romans has lifted my spirits in hard times, clarified life issues, solidified my calling to be His child, and so much more. It is such an important book that my husband and I choose to take the scripture above and base our wedding vows off of it.

I never thought moments would come into our lives where we would refer to these vows and use them to steer us back to the right track. The right frame of thinking. It shouldn’t surprise me. Vows are Holy, they are serious, they are a covenant between you and God. Why shouldn’t we be striving to live by them day in and out? We strive to live by our baptism vows each and everyday. How come we tend to grow complacent to our wedding vows?

We have personally come through some very trying days (not because of each other but by others who sought to cause stress and harm), but you know what; God is at work. Whether the people who have hurt us realize it or not, they are instruments of God. His hand is working, writing our story, shaping our lives. This situation has provided for some sound scriptural teachings to our children. It provided the opportunity for us to show them that we get hurt to, and that its okay to cry. It has shown these children that even in hard and trying times, we can respond with Christ’s love and feel a peace that only God can give. Are we still sad? Yes. Are we hurt? Yes. Are we going to allow this to make us bitter? No. Are we going to forgive? Yes. Is forgiveness hard? Yes.

As I work through all that has happened. As my husband and I have talked and processed our thoughts and feelings regarding the past week. I am struck by an odd sense of peace. Really I shouldn’t say odd. God grants us “peace that passes understanding” (Phillipians 4:7)  as often as we seek it and need it. I find myself having pity on those who wronged us. I find myself challenged to define firmly my world view. I am finding an assurance that this trial is bigger then us. I rest knowing that God truly is in control. I smile knowing that our lives rub shoulders with Christians and non-Christians alike, and both are watching to see how we handle being wronged and how we respond. Christ calls us to be peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9) , I am challenged once again to be just that for those whom we may be the only Christians in their lives.

God never promised us an easy road, but He has promised to help us along the way (1 Cor. 10:13). We would  never choose to learn these lessons the hard way but God saw it fit, to ordain a situation that will bring glory to Him in the long run. May we always be vigilant for moments to draw us closer to Him and to see Him in action.

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