La Junta UMC
La Junta UMC

“Praying and Mourning”                  “12 They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.”  2 Samuel 1: 12

Weekly Devotional January 8, 2020  “Praying and Mourning

12 They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.”  2 Samuel 1: 12

Have you had people in your life that antagonized you?  Treated you poorly?  Have you had anyone in your life that wished you weren’t around? 

Do you have people in your life that can only say negative things to you and never a single positive one?

How did you handle those negative and hurtful people in your lives?  Do you privately curse them out or wish that they would just disappear from your life already; maybe they’ll catch the next Amtrak to anywhere but here?

David had King Saul.  King Saul was desperately trying to kill David.  By all definitions, David was King Saul’s enemy.

I have never had someone whose life mission was to kill me but David did.  It was a very real part of his day to day life.

When King Saul was struck down on the battlefield facing the Amalekites, David doesn’t rejoice as you might expect.

Imagine this for a second.  You find out that the greatest pain in your side, the one person who has made your life a living heck, has had something terrible happen to them. 

Imagine you are reading the paper one day and you find that the person got audited from the IRS and owed more money than they could possibly pay back.  Their life would be extremely difficult moving forward.

Would you celebrate that they got what you believed was coming to them or would you mourn for them?  David mourned for King Saul.

David demonstrates what being a believer really means.

It means understanding that we are to be conduits of grace, even when it is REALLY hard to do so.

We are called to pray for our enemies and even to love our enemies.  No two ways about it; that’s hard work.

It’s easy to do a lot of what Jesus commands, especially when the conditions are perfect.  Feeding the homeless, visiting the sick, loving God; even loving our neighbor can be pretty easy when we get along with them. 

Mourning for our enemies and their losses is next level grace.

I am not sure if you are struggling with difficult people in your life.  If you are, I would like to invite you to ask yourself one question:  how is what you are currently doing, working? 

As a pastor I deal with difficult people often and what I’ve found works best is not praying that they change but praying that my reaction and response to them does.

I can’t control what you do but I sure can control how I respond to you.  That is God’s grace flowing through me.

I pray as you begin this new year that you reorient yourself to better handle those difficult situations and difficult people by praying for YOU to handle THEM better, not the other way around.  Be the believer that lives out Christ’s call not just on those easy to get along with people, but especially the difficult ones.

May it be so,

Rev. Lou Ward

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601 San Juan Ave

La Junta, CO 81050

 

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