How can we handle the unwanted? Unwanted people and events? The happenings none of us would ever want in our lives? Abandonment, separation, division? Those crushing and heartbreaking events which threaten to drain our life’s blood away?
We’re going through such a time right now, and this verse blessed my heart so much. And we all go through these things, don’t we?
Our hearts ache when we (or loved ones) go through heartbreaking circumstances. It hurts when social media gets used as a tool of gossip and maligning. It’s painful when friends reject us, devasting when loved ones walk out. And it’s often difficult to know how we should handle things that are only hurt, destroy, and harm. And especially when the actions are deliberately intentional.
So how can (and should) we handle such unwanted things?
4 Helps for Dealing the Unwanted:
1. Strive to behave as Christ would.
Try to do as Christ would, both in what you say and write, especially in these days of social media. While also trying to forgive others for their lack of love or ignorance. And ask the Lord to grant the grace, wisdom, and strength to respond in love, or stay silent when wiser. And to use you as an instrument of peace and restoration – not division.
2. Take protective measures.
When your social circle or social media begins to fill with negativity or untrue gossip, it’s probably best to pull back. Paul encourages us to think on whatever is true and good. Doing otherwise will only pull us down, harm our faith, and could cause us to enter the evil cycle of gossip, rejecting others, or even harming them. So remove yourself from any circumstance that places you in harm’s way, especially when you’re a target of unkindness.
3. Remember that this too shall pass.
It was this part of the verse which really helped me get things into perspective. “…for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life.” We only receive the crown of life once we’ve passed into eternity. Where both our current trial, and all trials, will be ended.
This too shall pass. All we have to do is remain firm in the Lord. Keep clinging to him, trying to do right, and trust him to work all things out. Not that things will always become easy – they often don’t. But he knows best.
Through the Lord’s grace, Hubby and I never stopped believing that, not even for a second. The Lord has already put us many times through the difficult school of Holding On to Peace. Yet it’s hard to not worry when your life or those of your loved ones seem shattered.
4. Remain Grateful.
We can always remain grateful for God’s love and the support of those who truly love and care. It helps when we know that we’re not walking through things all alone. And remembering that this too shall pass, pray that God will use it to encourage someone else.
The only way to handle the unwanted is to give it over to God.
Remembering that he can handle it far better than us.