Devotional: Loving Anyway

But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man. John 2:24-25 (New American Standard Bible)

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15  (New American Standard Bible)

Once again, my challenges are becoming my teachers.  I really don’t like this lesson.  Not at all.  You see, I don’t like pain.  I don’t like physical pain.  I don’t like emotional pain.  

I’m finding that dealing with challenges brings both.  

I have a friend who I have some interesting discussions with.  We were talking about how Jesus knew what was in men, but loved them anyway.  I’ve never really understood that.

You see, I often don’t like the responses I get back from people due to my challenges.  Because most of my problems have been “invisible” ones (until I ended up needing a walker and a wheelchair), folks expected more of me than I could do.  Some still do.  My reaction?  I’d get hurt or angry and pull away.

So God started showing me how it is my expectations of how I want people to react that are hurting me.  Letting go of those expectations?  Wow.  What a hard difficult thing to realize.  What a difficult thing to try to change.

To know that God wants me to love others while knowing I might get hurt in the process is daunting. I’m not talking about letting people abuse you.  I’m talking about putting down those expectations I place on others. I guess it’s in the “loving your enemies” camp.  Easy to say.  Hard to do.

I’m finding I expect so much more than some people are capable of doing.  I end up resenting them, getting petulant, or sullen.

This isn’t just about my challenges.  It’s about who I am now and who God wants me to be.  He uses my challenges in the most unlikely manner to show me the things that I really don’t want to see.  Yet, He uses everything in my life to teach me – to refine me – to bring me closer to the ‘me’ He wants me to be.

How odd to say I am grateful for the challenges I face.  How odd to realize just how much I can learn from them.  

So, for today, I work on putting down my expectations of how I think others should be – let them be themselves.  And love them anyway.

I need to do that for myself as well.  Let go of who I think I ‘should’ be.  Simply be the me that I am.  And love me, anyway.  After all.  God does.

Just as He loves you.

 © deni weber 2010-2013