Leave it with me

Published 3:59 am Wednesday, March 14, 2018

“Mike, don’t you just want to stay home from church today and catch a sermon on TV? We have tons left to do, and it looks like rain anyway.”

While the words were leaving my mouth I could taste their selfishness. I felt sure my trucker husband would love to attend services since he rarely gets a chance to do so, and here I sat encouraging him to miss out once again. And why? Could it be I wanted to hold on to my bad attitude a little longer?

At first Mike agreed, but after a little thought he spoke gently. “Jan, I know you are tired of dealing with the house renovations and the insurance company. But that’s precisely why we shouldn’t miss; we need God’s direction and encouragement.”

With a sigh and a slight frown I silently slipped from the room. What my hubby had said was true. I knew it, but had let a stressful situation sour my attitude.

“Miss Pollyanna” was having a moment. Truth be told, a week was more like it. I was tired, disappointed, and frustrated both at other people and at my response to their bad behavior.

“I’m supposed to be a witness and a light shining in the darkness, but sometimes it’s so hard,” I thought as I picked out a dress for church.

On the ride across town I prayed. I asked God to help me with my attitude and speak clearly to my heart.

Instead of worshipping with abandon I half-heartedly sang as I thought of the things that had upset me so. Several times I turned my heart toward the Lord and away from my troubling thoughts, but the struggle was real.

Pastor Allen spoke eloquently about the power of forgiveness and what God says about dealing with our enemies. His words of truth began to do their work in my heavy heart. I knew my unforgiveness was not honoring to my Savior. But, on the other hand I had seldom felt so disrespected and misused.

Finally, Allen said, “I feel in my heart the Lord wants me to tell someone that you have every right to hate the people who have tried to hurt you. But leave it with Me. Your job is to forgive and pray for them.”

With these words the heaviness in my heart lifted, and I was filled with peace and joy. It was as if God almighty looked down at me and said, “Don’t worry. I’ve got this, Baby Girl.”

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44, KJV).

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.