“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 5:12-13
Last night was rough! The neighbor’s dogs would not stop barking. We listened to the incessant yelps… All. Night. Long. As I am writing, at 4 a.m., they are still, loudly, trying to get their point across. When will it end? The dogs’ owners have been yelling at the dogs to stop barking and they did stop for a bit, but started back up. Most nights, they are not quite so vocal, so I wonder what’s gotten into them.
Sometimes, I wonder what has gotten into me, into us. It almost seems as we look for something to complain about, well at least I do. It is almost as if I expect everything to be perfect, so the times that things are not perfect, I complain loudly. How quickly I forget all the times and things I have to be thankful for! Am I as thankful as I should be, even on imperfect days? Ummm…no.
I wonder… Why do we expect perfection in the first place? The Bible tells us that we will have trouble, also that we have a perfect father who can take us through anything. So, why do we fear or complain?
One reason is that we like comfort. We like what we like and want what we want. However, we need to be content with whatever the Good Lord allows. My momma told me, as a child, to do something for someone else when I was the most disappointed. That way, someone else would have a good day, even if I didn’t. Seriously? I did not believe for one second that helping someone else would improve my day…until I tried it. She was right! We do need to see things from a different point-of-view than our own and think of others first. If we ask for the Lord’s help, we can see situations from the other person’s point of view.
Trying out my Momma’s little “trick” to think of others and not my own situation…I now imagine how frustrated the owners of the barking dogs feel. They must be frustrated that they cannot get the dogs to behave. They may have needed a good night sleep for a trying day today, but now they will probably have lots of trouble staying awake. I need to pray for them. They must be as tired as I am.
It’s not always about me. In fact, it’s really not about us at all but how we react to situations and turn them around to praise the Lord. How easy it is to forget that, that our purpose on earth is to reflect the love of the Father, not our love for ourselves. Ouch, that stuck!
Dear Lord, give us love for others. Help us see their side of things, even and especially when, we feel tired. Give us your grace that makes us love others, even on our hard days. When we think of all You unselfishly gave, and still give, to us, it is amazing and worth thinking about…much more so than some barking dogs. We are silly humans. We love You, Lord! Amen
With love from our awesome Father to you,