My wife has a little sign in our kitchen that reads, " I microwave better than I cook". I am fascinated by how the heat intensity can change what has been placed within the microwave. One of my favorite things to microwave is a marshmallow circus peanut. At ten seconds, it grows to the size of a loaf of bread!
I was sitting across the table from a couple who were going through some really tough issues. As they poured out the contents of their heart all over the table, I silently poured out my inability to the Lord. They did not need a patent, "God is with you" answer. They needed God to show up.
As soon as they finished speaking, I laid my Bible on the table and just opened it. Here is where God let it open to.
This is not a love like we see love, this is a love that is only possible to give through the Lord Jesus Christ. We think of love for others through the traditional lens of "You love me, and then I will love you".
Some are even more mature and see love through the lens of, "I will love you, and then you love me in return."
God says, "I will love you, even though you don't love me. I will love you knowing that you won't love me!" This is the framework for love that this passage is laid out in.
I read this passage to the couple and the reaction was immediate. Frustration mixed with brokenness.
“Why would God do this?”
What the Holy Spirit helped me notice in this passage was absolutely stunning!
It is the Apostle John who records this conversation with Jesus:
If you could imagine a clear glass filled with water. It represents how we start in life. Innocent, pure in the sense of life's experiences. I think of children who need to be told about watching out for strangers, and not taking candy from strangers. They lack experience, and are innocent to life's hurts.
If we were to place a tea bag in that glass, it would represent hurt and pain. The glass becomes cloudy. What was once clear, now looks anything but clear. Hurts come, and disappointments come. The fact is, a clear glass will not stay a clear glass for very long.
What happened? David went from praying for his men I am sure to a recorded prayer asking God to confuse the counsel of this man?This was family? What happened?
More of this Matthew 5:43- 45 stuff. you have to look in the genealogies to find the answer for Ahithophel's hatred for his one time friend.
We can choose to be bitter, or...
When the timer for the microwave dinged, the tray stopped and the door opened, you can almost smell the sweet savor that came from the glass called Joseph.
When he had the power to hurt back, the flavor in the glass was absolutely DYNAMIC!
A) Ahithophel became bitter in God's Microwave.
B) Joeseph became better in God's microwave.
The third glass belongs to you and to me. The glass started out clear, but over the years, contents have been added that we did not ask for, and the microwave has started to hum. The timer (That we cannot see) has been started, and the 4th statement is ready to be looked at.
Matthew 5:43- 45 is impossible to perform outside the person of Jesus Christ in us. God never promised easy, but He always promises possible!
I wish I could say that I have handled every microwave experience better than I cook, but I cannot. It is my goal to stay in until the timer dings, so that, through Christ I can emerge Better not bitter!
Climbing with you,
p.s. I cannot wait until you see the post this Saturday! "What a way to die!"