This is probably a silly question, but have you ever felt that God was calling you do to something completely absurd and a bit beyond challenging? I feel like God is very often asking me to do tough things – things that by the world's standards even seem a bit bizarre.
Lately most of the crazy things I feel God is asking me to do are with regard to my ex-husband. I have to be honest and say I struggle with him. As much as I want to have a congenial relationship and "everybody just get along"...there are times...
Times when I just wish he'd go far, far away...I mean really far away.
I've been trying to figure out how to do this divorce thing gracefully, but lately I haven't been doing as well as I'd like. It's been years...you'd think I'd be better at it by now...in fact, I think at times I'm getting worse at it.
I can recall a time recently in my driveway when he and I were discussing something rather emphatically and I thought, "Lord, if you wanna strike him with lightening, I'm okay if I get a bit singed." It was wrong to think like that...but there you have it.
Our children notice when we don't get along even slightly. And it bothers them. I'd like to take that stressor out of their lives. Being children of divorced parents is the pits all the way around anyway.
But doggonit, he just makes me so angry sometimes. I feel compelled to let him have it. I shouldn't though. I should refrain.
And that is where I believe God is asking me to do the unexpected.
There are many verses in the Bible that deal with this. Loving your enemies. Praying for those who make your life difficult. I'm trying. I just don't know if I can love this man. I used to...very much. In fact, in some ways I still love the man I married – but this guy? Not so much. I don't believe they are the same man. This guy...ugh. He's no fun at all.
I'm sure he'd have his own things to say about me. But because I'm a Christian, I'd like those things to be...godly, gracious, kind, compassionate, peaceful, self-controlled, and forgiving. I believe there have been times in the past four years, actually many times, when those were the adjectives that described me, but something changed recently. What has happened that has made me fussy?
I've been thinking about this a lot. I believe that as I continue to walk this divorced path, my children have begun to deal with it in different ways. And as I watch my children struggle, I get angry at my ex-husband for putting us in this difficult place.
I believe though that I must learn to accept my circumstances...to be content in them. To trust that God loves my children and has a wonderful plan for their lives even if that plan includes this awful situation.
And seriously, I'm working on fumes most of the time so why am I expending additional energy on being fussy and angry with someone I rarely see? It's kind of silly.
I believe God is asking me to trust Him even when I feel completely frustrated by this person and this situation. I believe He's asking me to be kind when I don't feel like it...to use gentle words...to be forgiving as a way of life.
It's gonna require a lot of strength...thankfully, I know that whatever God asks me to do He will also equip me to do. Unexpected or not.
So next time I'm standing in the driveway with my ex, I'm going to pray hard and ask God to give me an unexpected ability to offer grace and kindness.