20 May Promise 1
“The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”
When I get confronted with a battle that feels undeserved, where undoubtedly I’ve put my best foot forward, and yet I am still blamed or judged negatively, my defenses flare. My gut reaction is to put up my dukes and start swinging because, why should I let someone mistreat me? Don’t I deserve to be treated with kindness? Don’t I deserve the benefit of the doubt? Don’t I give value to those things that are important to others? Am I not characteristically concerned with doing right by others, especially those people I love and with which I am in a relationship? But when conflict comes, the instinct is to ring the boxing match bell. First, identify the target. What is just or unjust? Then defend with explanations or arguments. What is wrong with that? Especially when the other person is being wholly short-sighted and not even considering anything or anyone but themselves. But no matter how much explaining or attempts to clarify, to them, my determinations were just not good enough. To them, my choices were selfish. To them, my decisions were not what they would have chosen.
My head begins to spin because I feel desperate to convince the other person of my goodness. To be good enough in their eyes. Instead, we end up in a yelling match that has escalated, leaving me feeling completely out of control.
Somehow, I stop. I remember that chaos and division are not from God, that God is the source of my goodness, and my identity is in Christ. Then I reflect on the promise of God, “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” Wait…keep silent? Let others walk all over me? Allow myself to be the victim?
Finally, I choose to be quiet in my questions, and it is then I hear God whisper,
“No, my child. You are no victim. You are my Beloved. I will fight for you. I am not asking you to be catatonic. I am not asking you to allow yourself to be victimized. I am asking you to use your awareness of the situation to direct your attention to praying to me. Grasp the grace I provide to you of self-control and then choose to release control to me, to trust me, and to receive the grace of my power, peace, and love.
It is I, your Lord and Savior, that calms the storm. When you choose to shift your attention to me, I respond to you, my precious treasure. You will be steadied, and the raging waters will be still in your heart. Remember, it is in the silence that you hear my voice.”
What battles are you confronting right now?
What is your response to conflict?
How do you quiet yourself?
How is God working?
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