““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

~Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV~

I’m a sincere believer in love and in the idea that everyone has some goodness in them.  Unfortunately, my forgiving nature has gotten me into trouble more than a few times when it comes to relationships and I find myself doubting whether or not I should ever be allowed to venture into any kind of alliance with anyone; even something as simple and non-threatening as being the other half of a euchre team.  But God is good and He sees these shortcomings as teachable moments and if we allow Him, He can fix what’s broken in us so that we can move on more confidently into what He has for us.  The trick is knowing when it is something He has sent versus something that we have convinced ourselves would have His blessing if we can just make it look right. 

So this is where I find myself once again.  For lack of a better, more Godly analogy, you just can’t polish a turd.  Forgive the sentiment, but it’s really the only one that accurately captures what I’ve recently gone through as I attempted to have a relationship with someone who just wasn’t ready.  Sadly, I can see that he has potential, but really, is it up to me to wait it out and suffer a decline in my own progress to allow that potential to blossom?  No, it isn’t.  And that’s the word I got, loud and clear, during prayer every morning.  I just chose to set it aside and ignore the rather obvious warnings God was sending me.  In Obadiah 1:13, He says, “You should not have entered the gate of my people in the day of their calamity.  Indeed you should not have gazed on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity.”  All too often, this is what happens to us.  When we are already broken, the enemy finds a way to sneak through our defenses and take advantage of that brokenness.  But God wants us to fight those battles with everything He has given us.  He will step in if He sees that we can’t fight, but first we must fight on our own behalf.  If we aren’t willing to do that, then how can we be trusted to fight for His kingdom? 

It occurred to me that God had built me up when I was broken and that it was up to me to guard what He had given me.  When I looked at things that way, I had no choice but to defend His temple.  As in 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells within you?”  Why would I let someone destroy what God has made?  What possible reason or grudge could I be holding against my Maker that would keep me from protecting what is His?  When I stopped looking around at how the relationship was making me feel and what I thought I had the power to do within that relationship, I saw that I was basically not doing my job as a warrior for Christ.  By allowing someone to come into my life and disrespect me, I was permitting their disrespect of God and that is simply unacceptable.  If the person you are with does not love and fear God, then you shouldn’t be with them.  If they don’t love themselves, they are also not defending what God has made in them.  If they don’t love themselves, they don’t love you.  No matter how many times they say it. 

God’s love is a perfect demonstration of what He wants us to show to one another.  He wants us to accept one another for who we are and for our relationships to be built on a mutual respect and admiration for the glory of God that dwells in each of us.  Aside from all of our politics, our preferences and our baggage, we must see ourselves as a beautiful miracle created by the One and Only God.  We must love ourselves and be able to see His glory in our own hearts before we can ever claim to love another living soul.  If it’s a struggle to get through each day, something is wrong.  If there is no joy in your heart, something needs to change.  If you’re living, breathing and able to give it another chance today, you have something to be happy about.  If God had given up on you, you wouldn’t be here.  You must acknowledge that in your life if you ever want to receive the reward that God holds for you. 

Many times, people who are broken just decide that God has abandoned them and that He doesn’t want to love them and fix what is wrong in their lives.  They fail to see that God’s perfect love is demonstrated in His willingness to let us go through what we go through and to reach out to Him when we are in need.  Just to sit in His presence and allow Him to wrap His arms around us while we cry is to allow His healing to permeate every part of our being and begin a work in us that is indescribable to those who refuse His love.  I know it doesn’t make sense to everyone, and it won’t until you’ve surrendered all to Him, but I promise you that He’s the best medicine for any ailment.  He’s the cure for any disease.  He’s the glue for any brokenness.  He’s the Almighty, Wonderful One, Loving God who will do anything for His children.  But there’s a responsibility that we must accept for our own happiness and He’s always watching to see if we’re willing to take on that challenge. 

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; on them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.“It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the LORD will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

~1 Samuel 2:8-10 New International Version (NIV)~

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