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Friday, June 1, 2012

Where I realize I don't know what you need

Excellent post over on Stuff Christians Like: Loving the unlovable (posted May 23, 2012).

Summary: Do you ever try to love someone and help someone and pray for them when they're having a really hard life, and it doesn't seem to have much of an effect, and after a while they drift out of your life...  But dude, you never know.  Years and years and years later, their life could be totally better- you never know what effect, if any, you had in helping them.  And the author, Jon, mentions someone he knew when his life was a mess 14 years ago, whom he saw again recently, so surprised about how different Jon has become.

So cool!  Because I have totally worried about that, about the people I've cared about, tried to love when they were having a hard time in life, the people I was worried about and I prayed for them and maybe I saw some change but not as much as I was hoping.

And I was worried, what if I didn't see God changing their life in the next few months?  Maybe sometime in the future, things will change, but I don't want it to be far in the future, I want it to be now.  If I don't see an effect now, what if everything I did was useless?

But dude, I'm young; I'm in college.  Who knows where my friends are going to be in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years?  Dude, to me it sounds crazy to imagine that the year 2020 or 2030 is even going to exist. Haha.  No but seriously, a lot more things are going to happen, regardless of whether I'm still part of their life.  So no worries.  ^_^

Also, because God changed my life when I was super-hopeless and there was nothing else to do but say "okay fine God, just fix my life, no matter the cost", it's easy for me to think that's how everyone's life story should go.  There have been times I've thought what my friends need is for things to get worse so they realize they need God.

And then I was like "so uh, I want my friends to be unhappy... wow that's a red flag.  No, I don't know what they need.  God does.  And if something other than 'realizing their need for God' ends up making their life better, that's good.  I'm gonna be happy for that.  Because I don't know what God wants for them right now.  I don't know what they need."

So all I can do is try my best to love people and not think I know what their life is supposed to be.  I believe everyone needs God- but there's nothing I can do to magically make people see that.  I'm supposed to care about people because they're people, not because I just want to push them to some goal of what I think their life should be.

No, my task is to just love them and do what I can, and God will take care of the rest.

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