Wanting to give credit where credit was due, I started to tell the pastor how much Barbara had assisted with a particular nine month project, in case he was not aware. Realizing there were another 300 people who also wanted to interact with him about some intricacies from their daily lives, I kept it brief. Too brief Iím afraid because Barbara abruptly snapped, "I did a lot more than that!" I just about fell out of my pew and pastor Fred jolted backwards as if heíd just come upon a rattlesnake.
Driving home Iím thinking, Ďthis woman is definitely deludedí. She only helped for about one hour a night for six nights and now sheís looking for accolades. What nerve! What an aberration! I was furious. I figured furious was an acceptable Christian trait as long as I was ranting in the King James Version. My blood pressure rose higher and higher as I rehashed what I could have said in retaliation when the Lord suddenly interrupted this episode of ungodly rage with two most startling words, "Go apologize"
I almost drove into a tree. I was certain I had heard wrong. This was surely a mistake. God would not be asking such a thing. Even though I came up with argument after argument and some great defense, for some inexplicable reason, God would not reconsider.
More than perplexed, I nonetheless drove to Godís dest- ination hoping all the way that God had arranged it so that when I got to her house she would fall at my feet and beg for my forgiveness. Anythingís possible!
Upon opening the door, she folded her arms in front of her and stated matter of factly, "I prayed God would convict you." I almost dropped dead. If God was supposed to convict ME, then I must be the one thatís in the wrong.
I managed to blurt out some sort of an apology and drove off utterly stupefied. "Lord, how can I have so little understanding of You and Your ways to not realize when Iím wrong?", I cried.
"Oh, I didnít say anything about right or wrong" God inter- jected, "I simply asked you to go apologize. I just asked you to obey. This is not about right or wrong."
As painful as it was for me to apologize, this was a lesson in Christ-likeness and humility. When there is a conflict, we are to humble ourselves, not start a war.
A scripture in Micah reads: "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.í
Another in the book of Hebrews say, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled."
This happened many years ago, but I prayed then that if I could learn anything from this experience it would be to forever remain pliable in the Masters hand and asked Him to ensure that I would never become prideful, arrogant or stiffnecked.
Not wanting any bitterness to take root in my life, I sent Barbara a copy of my book and wrote this inscription; íAnd God created the heavens and the earth and all the host of them, and the evening and the morning were the sixth dayí. To God, six days is a very long time. Thank you for the six days and nights you spent editing this book."
It felt good. Funny how doing it Godís way always feels soooooooo good.
Copyright Donna Martonfi www.psalm40ministries.com