Seeing Clearly Through the Smog

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

_____________

[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15). No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE. It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences. NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.
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8 Responses to Seeing Clearly Through the Smog

  1. Liana says:

    A wonderful lesson for us all. Thank you Kathleen for sharing your life with us and revealing the sensitivities that often lay dormant within hearts until the smog stirs them up. Praise God we have His word to guide and lead us in all circumstances.

  2. Mark L says:

    I often have to write and re-write answers to angry emails several times – until I feel I can address the email with all humility. I have found asking for forgiveness – even when I may not be guilty – reminds me of how Jesus died in all humility and innocence. I then receive the same peace as you speak of! I’m afraid there just isn’t anything you are going to be able to do about that smog though! 🙂

    • Kathleen says:

      Good for you, Mark! You are learning patience. I agree: asking for forgiveness, even when not guilty, is a spiritually wise thing to do.

  3. Dottie says:

    I received a similar letter from a friend I’d known for 20 years. It was triggered by an action I’d performed which was really an act of love, but it was completely misunderstood. Her letter was a response to that action, but was also filled with other grievances, some of which I needed to hear. She was so angry she said she even considered moving to avoid running into me! I hand-wrote a response explaining my side of the story and that it was my concern for her that prompted my action. She was gracious and asked for forgiveness, and our friendship was restored.

    • Kathleen says:

      Dear Dottie, Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. Many of our problems are simple misunderstandings. But thank God, He gives us wisdom and a desire to make things right.

  4. Frank King says:

    First, it’s amazing how misunderstandings and harbored anger can raise their ugly head so many years later. Secondly, this experience you shared underscores what a challenge it can be to get through our initial emotional response so we can respond in a way that pleases the Lord and, consequently, gives us a sense of peace. Thanks for your willingness to share this.

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