Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Difficult to love

I was 30 seconds from getting the kids into rest time and getting a little devo and rest time myself, when the bell rang to let someone in.  It was my friend from a local store.  She only gets an hour rest all day and works 15 hours, sleeps in the store, only to wake up and start the day over.  So any time with her is much coveted.  My first reaction is, "ugh, it's almost rest time.  I don't have time for this today."  Even worse is that I've been praying for my relationship with her.  So now that I have the opportunity to hang out with her, I am disgruntled and put out.  

She had to go back to work and I've spent the last little bit reading Proverbs 3:27 "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it."  For her, a relationship is the 'good' that she is in need of.  She is far from home and works horrific hours at a really tough job.  She needs friends.  I've been convicted of just how easily I love those that are easy to love.  It's not all that difficult for me to love my  husband or kids.  It's not difficult to love my friends in the States.  It is however, difficult to love a lot of the people around me.  They mock us, scold us, ignore us and try to get us to leave their country.  And yet I am supposed to love them extravagantly??!!

And I have to confess, that there are many a day that I want to just look them in the eye and say something incredibly rude or offensive.  But then I am reminded that it is not our friends who need to be loved as much as it is our enemies.  Friends are easy.  

But that takes time, inconvenience, forethought, and much prayer.  I have to choose to be bothered in love.  If I'm not, then I'm not loving the hard to love.  The people that are hardest to love take much perseverance.  I am reminded how many times Jesus was confronted with the hard to love and yet he gave them his time, his ear, his healing, his touch, his food, and his words.  I don't have as much to offer, but what I do have, I am to give to them in abundance.  
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