While suffering the extreme cold and all its effects, sometimes our human nature spews venom from our lips. I personally become crabby, thinking about keeping my car in good running order despite the low temperature, or about the danger of falling on ice-crusted streets and walkways, driveways and parking lots. At such times I have to remind myself of God’s mercy and grace, His promise to see me through. How is it with you?
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
When my twin sister and I were growing up, we often fought like enemies about who got the biggest piece of cake or the most candy or the best seat on the school bus. "Mercy me!" my mother would say out of exasperation. Petty, insignificant squabbles like these can seem like mountains to children. Sadly, the same kind of petty squabbles can also bring enmity between many adults.
A woman worked with a hateful, demanding boss. Out of frustration she asked her prayer group to pray that God would change her boss into a kind person. "I can't do that," one member said. "But I will pray for you to love her just as she is." Reluctantly, the woman agreed to pray likewise. God honored her prayers and gave her the grace to love her boss.
When it comes to love, God works in us first. Then our example causes others to change. My sister and I long since gave up our squabbles and replaced them with love and forgiveness.
Jesus is our best example of love that forgives. Knowing that Peter would deny him and that his other followers would forsake him at the cross, he didn't say, "Why did you do it?" Rather, he said, simply, "Peace be with you."
God's love, working in us, helps us to love our enemies as Jesus did, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute us.
Unfortunately, it's the little things that trip us up—petty grievances between spouses or siblings like the ones between my sister and me. But they don't amount to a nickel or dime compared to the mountain of debt Jesus paid on the cross for our sins. Jesus' love was so great that even while dying on the cross he could say, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34)
If there’s someone we need to forgive, we need to ask God immediately to fill us with His love so there will be no room for bitterness or unforgiveness.
Lord, help us to love our enemies. Help us rather to plant seeds of love. Thank You that nothing is able to separate us from Your love, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. In His Name we pray, amen.