Father, I thank You for the people in my life who seem to bring more pain than joy, for I believe You have let our paths cross for important reasons. Thank You for the good things You want to do in my life through the things that bother me, their irritating habits, their moodiness, their unloving ways, their demands, their insensitivity, their unrealistic demands, their unrealistic expectations. I’m grateful that You are with me, to meet my needs when others – even those close to me – fail to do so, I’m so glad that You are also within me, working to make me more like Jesus – more patient, more gentle, more loving – through the very things I dislike.
Thank You too that You love these people, and that Your love is adequate to meet their deep needs and to transform their lives, however willful or unwise they may sometimes be. Thank You that You care for them deeply, and that each of them has the potential of being a vast reservoir from which You could receive eternal pleasure. And so, though I may not feel grateful, I give thanks for them by faith, trusting Your goodness, Your wisdom, Your power, and Your love for them as well as for me.
And I praise You that I need not fret about these people, or be envious, or mull over angry thoughts to prove I’m right. Thank You that by Your power I can receive them as You receive me; just as I am, warts and wrinkles and hangups and all…that I can choose not to judge them, but to forgive them…to cancel any debts I feel they owe me – any apologies, any obligations…that through Your grace, I can choose to wipe clean any slate of grievances I have within me, and to view these people with a heart that says, “You no longer owe me a thing.” Thank You for Your Spirit who empowers me, so that I can do them good, delight in You, and commit my way to You, resting in You as You unfold Your good purposes in these relationships – in Your time.
Read the following:
- Romans 8:28-29; 1 Peter 1:6-7; James 1:2-4; Psalm 27:10; Isaiah 49:14-16; Psalm 142:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philippians 1:9-11
- Matthew 5:43-45; Hosea 3:1
- 1 Peter 2:1; Romans 15:7; Ephesians 4:31-3; Matthew 6:14-15, 7:1-3, 18:21-22; Psalm 37:1-7