Ever just come to the same beaten, dead horse in your life and wonder when you will stop having to look at the thing? You don’t know what to do with it, or even if you can do anything with it–so there it sits. A heaped up crumple of mess that no human can restore. I have a few relationships in my life that look like a mangled corpse. Its wearying, this wondering if things will ever get sorted or whether you’ve inadvertently sinned against someone. In my head, I know I cannot be responsible for how they feel or react. I cannot control their perceptions or behaviour. But the futility of broken relationships is a trying thing. If I keep doing the same thing I’ve been doing, I cannot expect different results. But if I look at my actions and have a clear conscience, then there is nothing to change.
The Scriptures tell us to live at peace with everyone as much as we are able. Clearly, sometimes it is not up to us. And sometimes you just can’t go back and fix something. We humans break things all the time–irrevocably so. Can they ever be put back together? God is the Craftsman of all things; He can surely mend and re-build anything. But we all know that this isn’t always the case.
When do you re-evaluate your part of a relationship for potential sin? Something that was ok and reasonable last year might not be so this year.
Similarly and somewhat related, I think it is easy for us to develop relational habits that we can nurse like an overgrown child. Something that was benign has evolved into something ugly and grotesque without us ever being aware, yet we still coddle and snuggle it comfortably as it saps the life out of a relationship.
There are few things more stifling to me than the feeling of watching chains wrapped around my wrists with no visible way of breaking free.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery (Gal 5:1). Once you find full freedom from a suffocating enslavement, other controlling entanglements seem to repel with an unparalleled force. I think these relationship feel so binding in their attempts to control or manipulate or otherwise punish.
I am so done being an agent of relational destruction, but on the otherhand, I feel powerless make things better. Lord, I’ve come to the end of myself.
I believe God for good in these things because He is the source of all good. He has promised to work all things for good. But it is hard, and heavy, and wearisome.
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Is 40:31). But when does the strength come? When does the trial stop sapping? Where is the renewal? I believe Him for it. I ache for a total redemption where all things are made new in Him. That time when we can say:
‘Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?’
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
Maybe not this side of heaven, but I have to go on in this hope. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Cor 13:7). My faithful love for God is shown in my tenacious hope in Him and His promises. It is an obstinate belief that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do.
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24).