It was on a smoggy day that I received an unexpected letter from someone I loved. I wasn’t prepared for its disturbing contents which hurt deeply.
It was a letter of anger and bottled-up emotions, being vented in one huge explosion. Granted, some of the accusations were valid, but most were not. The ones that were, I felt, were merely careless oversights, the result of my insensitivity. The accusations that were not valid left me feeling confused and angry.
Why hadn’t I been told long ago? Why did she harbor her ill feelings to the point of becoming enraged? My initial response was that of self-pity and tears. Soon I’d gathered my thoughts and purposed to write a letter. I knew I needed to pray first, but I had to make it quick, because the letter had to be written now!
“Lord guide me,” was the extent of my prayer. Then I began by explaining my side, and then perceiving that she was in need of counseling (mine), I proceeded to instruct her on the fruit of the Spirit, particularly self-control, patience and gentleness. After a time, I had to leave for an appointment.
While driving, I experienced blurry eyes, not only from my tears, but from the smog. “Oh Lord!” I prayed. “I feel so low, and this smog is awful! Lord, Your Word says to come before Your presence with thanksgiving, so I suppose I should be thankful. Okay, Lord, thank You for this day, even for the smog.” And then it hit me. “Lord, do I have to thank You for the letter too? Okay, Lord, thank You for the letter. And the writer? Lord, You mean it?“
I thought for a moment. “Yes, of course! Thank You, Jesus, for showing me so clearly…through the smog.”
That evening I began my letter anew. This time the Lord would be in control: “Dear _____, Thank you for your letter. It was what I needed to bring me back down to earth. Much of what you said is true. I’m sorry for being flippant and disrespectful. Please forgive me for being insensitive. I love you.”
What peace flooded my dreams that night! Would the letter resolve the problems and rekindle our special relationship? I didn’t know. But I did know I had listened to God, and with obedience came peace.
Thank You, Jesus, for even honoring my teeth-gritting thankfulness. I love You. Amen.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18