This past November, my mom, baby and I were traveling to visit my brother. We got up earlier than the sun since his home was a 3 hour drive away. We headed on down the road toward our destination. After about an hour and a half, we stopped at a rest area to feed and change the baby.
Once inside the restroom, I told my mom I felt like there was a stone in my boot. I surely needed to get it out before we left. No sooner did I finish my sentence, I felt a stinging pain in my toe. I was so overwhelmed by pain that I actually became lightheaded and things were a blur for a few short minutes.
I whipped off my boot and shook it only to watch a wasp crawl out. Our home had been infested with these wasps throughout the summer and fall. However, to my knowledge they were contained to the outside of our house.
Once I collected my thoughts, I became furious! Why didn’t we take care of them when the problem first began? I stewed on the pain some more and shifted the blame to my husband (who wasn’t even present when I got stung)!
Nevertheless, we had a destination to get to by a certain time. So, I got back in the driver’s seat and we headed on down the road again.
I prayed aloud to God saying, “I don’t know your purpose for wasps, but you created them anyway. I don’t know why I got hurt, but I know you work out everything for my good anyway.” Today, God revealed to me something incredible about the situation that occurred that day.
When we get stung by bees we do whatever we can to relieve the pain.
I wrapped my toe in a baby wipe (that’s all I had initially on hand). Then, upon arriving to my brother’s house I took ibuprofen and coated my toe in honey.
On the contrary, when we get stung by people we tend to relive the pain.
Let that sink in for a minute. I for one have been guilty of this very thing! When someone has hurt my feelings I’ve held onto that pain. And for a very long time- I keep reliving it.
If we let a bee sting go untreated it swells up at the site, the pain throbs harder, and in worse cases can become infected. Similar symptoms occur if we let a hurt caused by someone go untreated. Our hearts swell from anger, pain throbs the longer we think on it, and our attitude toward them or even others can become infected.
So here’s our 3-step plan of treatment:
1st- Forgive them. That’s right, we may need to swallow our pride and be the first to forgive. Just as Jesus forgives us when we continue to mess up or hurt his feelings.
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. -Galatians 4:32 (NLT)
2nd- Give them grace. Showing them free and unmerited favor. Just as Jesus extends grace to us when we don’t deserve it.
And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved. -Romans 11:6 (NLT)
3rd- Love them. Whether you say this aloud or just within your heart, resolve to love them through the hurt they’ve caused. Just as Jesus loves us.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. -John 13:34-35 (NLT)
Friends, let’s call upon Jesus to help us relieve those stings caused by people.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”- Romans 8:28 (NLT)