So many times today, Father, I felt Your presence – affirming, directing, correcting. I am grateful that You are ever by my side. Whatever comes my way I am not alone. All praise goes to You, Almighty God!
Matthew 5:23-24 (<<click the green)
Yesterday, I realized water was backing up in the large drainage ditch the cuts through our property. I figured that leaves were the culprit. We have lots of trees, hence lots of leaves. So I put on my big rubber boots, got my handy dandy rake and headed back to check things out.
Leaves were for sure part of the problem but a fallen tree and several chunks of wood were greatly restricting the flow or water trying to get through. After some tugging and pulling and a fair amount of raking, the water was released and the backup was cleared.
Relationships are so important, especially as followers of You, Lord Jesus…and this directive from You proves that point. Every time I read this passage of Scripture, it makes me pause and think. We hear You speak of loving and forgiving each other quite often but that’s not what You are saying here. This is another perspective entirely. We are challenged to look at our relationships from the viewpoint of others, not just our own.
Putting this into a modern day mindset, if we are interacting with You and we are working on our end to draw closer to You and we “suddenly remember that someone has something against [us]” we are to stop right where we’re at and “Go and be reconciled to that person.” Then, as the Message translation stresses, “and only then”, are we to come back to working on our relationship with You.
Do I do this, Lord? Do I even think about it? If I do think about it, do I just sweep past it? If I just ponder on it for a bit, it can become really complicated. Most translations narrow the field a little in specifying that that “someone” You are referring to is a “friend” or a fellow “brother” or “sister” in our relationship with You. It would be overwhelming to try to remember our interactions with every person we encounter. But we must also keep in mind the Apostle Paul’s admonition. “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
So what are we talking about then? There’s no way we can know what other people are thinking but it is quite often obvious if someone has a “grudge” (MSG) or “a grievance or legitimate complaint” (AMP) against us. Again, it’s about relationship.
How often do we let “leaves” accumulate in our relationships? How are a few “leaves” going to hurt anything, right? But anything that restricts the “flow” of our relationships with others is a problem. Sometimes when we check things out, we find that it is more than just “leaves”. Sometimes we find bigger things that must be dealt with if we are going to clear the backups in our relationships.
Lord, help us to keep clear our relationships with others so that our relationship with You is unhindered as well. Amen.
Nov 7th, Tues, 7:41 pm