Look Past the Prickles!
Posted on June 4, 2018 by America's Keswick in Victory Call
The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. (Proverbs 20:5, ESV)
We all know prickly people. Maybe you were born to one. Maybe you are married to one. Maybe you work with one or live next door to one. (Maybe you are one!!!) If you have porous emotional boundaries you may take this person personally. Don’t! Under that barbed exterior is one just like yourself who either has a different basic temperament than you or who copes differently. Human nature (our flesh) tends to assess and react to the fruit while being either oblivious to, judgmental of, or callously indifferent to the fueling root. (And sometimes we read what’s not there because of our own experiences and perspectives.) Not so where Christ is concerned!
While on this earth, Christ consistently saw through the fault to the need. He knew that the root determined the fruit as the fruit reflected the root. He came into contact with all types of people: moody, crass, arrogant, fearful, boisterous, chaotic, aloof, bitter and so on. You name it; He encountered it. And more importantly, he cared about the “who” more than the “it” or the “what.” He surely was a reflective, Spirit-led responder.
Consider how he approached the woman at the well and the one caught in the act of adultery. He queried, probed and countered with a beautiful balance of grace and truth. While not negating the hard facts regarding their decisions and predicaments, he offered them key aspects of Himself that corresponded to their deeper, respective needs. This thirst-slaking, light-radiating Savior offered living water to satiate the parched soul and brilliant light to illumine the lost’s darkest path.
As his ambassadors, we not only have the same privilege but the same Spirit available to us. Let that sink in as truth empowers us, animates us and sets us free. We have ALL that we need in Christ to be his hands, his feet, his ears, his shoulder, and most importantly- his heart to those around us (2 Peter 1:3.) Will we fail? Yes. Will we fall short? Yup. But will HE work powerfully through our weaknesses, shortcomings, and finiteness? Most assuredly (2 Corinthians 4:7)!
The same God who looked past our prickles (Romans 5:8) will enable us to do just that for someone else. Ask him to use you today to be someone else’s miracle and answer to prayer to your own astonishment, to their betterment, and to his credit. And if you do, just remember that the next prickly person isn’t an irritation or an inconvenience but a God-ordained and orchestrated opportunity to see through the fault to help meet the need. Then you won’t see prickles any more- just divine apPOINTments!
Written by Melissa Smith: Melissa Smith is the Women’s ENRICH Counselor at America’s Keswick. She has the privilege and honor of ministering to the Colony men’s wives and girlfriends, the Barbara’s Place women, and community women who God brings to America’s Keswick for help or care. She and Bill, her husband of 20 years, have four grown, wonderful adopted children. Her fervent desire is to point women to Christ and His sufficiency, provision, and promises.