It has been a difficult week--not surprising for it to follow fast on the heels of a God-glorifying wedding. We obviously encroached on Enemy territory and the retaliation came rather quickly.
Details and convoluted stories are sometimes better not shared. Our pain this week came from an unexpected, previously supportive person. Rather than ask Phil directly about an issue, it was taken to other people, complained about, fanned to grow out of proportion and finally reached Phil through a third party. Praise the Lord for dear Joe who saw the cross of Jesus through it all and chose reconciliation. He stood in the gap between two brothers in Christ. He wrote us and told us about the resentment and resulting anger. Reading the misunderstandings, the twisted spin and finally false accusations was very painful. Through the years Phil has been the champion of transparency and Truth. Ironically, this is what he was accused of betraying.
As Phil’s other and more emotional half, I certainly shouldered more than my share of the pain. I was supposed to take it all to the foot of the cross and leave it with the other burdens that have been deposited there through the centuries. But no, I chose to haul it around for a few days. It was heavy, had sharp edges and didn’t smell too good.
Then this morning, Isabel, my precious girl showed me this prayer by Tozer:
Heavenly Father: Let me see Your glory, if it must be from the shelter of the cleft rock and from beneath the protection of Your covering hand, whatever the cost to me in loss of friends or goods or length of days let me know You as You are, that I may adore You as I should. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(The Knowledge of the Holy)
It spoke directly into my heart--or whacked me on the side of the head. Take your pick. Whatever the cost, I desire to know God as He is so I may love Him as I should. Sometimes the cost is high relationally, but God is our goal.
On a hopeful note, after Joe’s intervention, Phil was able to contact the “party of the first part.” Phil apologized profusely, took any blame in the issue, and reiterated his desire to serve all concerned. His apology was accepted and things are on the mend. But the process is long in Africa where so many issues blow up over cultural miscommunications. Sometimes things are not over that seem to be over. Prayer fodder.
Another minor disappointment was arriving at church to teach SS this morning and having no one show up. Not a kid, not a teacher-in-training, no one. I waited for 45 minutes, packed up my lesson and biked back home.
It has been a tough week.