Have you ever met someone who doesn't know joy? A person that doesn't know how to be happy? Now before you say it, I know joy and happiness are not the same. And that's my point. I understand that unless you know (really know) this amazing guy called Christ, you cannot experience joy. So the next best thing, humanly speaking, would be happiness.
So how sad is it to meet someone that is incapable of owning any happiness -even if you handed it to them in a bucket. My heart hurts for these people. Really hurts.
Twenty years ago I worked for a major transportation company. At the tender age of 23 I was responsible for $15 million in marketing accounts. I was good at my job thanks to an amazing God that enabled me when I needed it. However, there was a problem. My supervisor didn't like me. She actually hated me. This person made it her mission in life to get me fired. When that didn't work she made herself content with making life miserable for me during working hours.
Nevertheless God prevailed. I continued to earn accolades from my clients, awards from the company, and recognition from the CEO. Unfortunately, the more I succeeded the more I was mistreated. And I didn't just take her abuse. I stood up for myself, without trying to be too obnoxious or disrespectful.
I grew very unhappy at work. I searched my heart to see if I could do things differently to please this person. When I was satisfied that the Holy Spirit had confirmed that I was doing as I should, I changed tactics. Since I knew that I was not the person in the wrong, I began to pray for my supervisor. I asked God to soften her heart toward me and tender her spirit.
I continued to pray for this woman everyday. One day I saw the difference I'd been requesting. No, my supervisor didn't stop her actions. Instead, I began to love her the way God loved her. It began with me not responding to her verbal abuse and escalated to me offering to help her when she looked frazzled.
One day this woman came to me and asked for my forgiveness. She told me that God had convicted her of her treatment of me, and it just got worse when I started being so nice to her. (Isn't God sneaky!)
Now I'm not telling you this so you will think that I'm an amazing person. I mean, I am -but I can post about that another time. I'm sure you guys have already figured out Who the Amazing One is in this story! So here comes one of my favorite things to say. Are you ready?
GOD IS SO COOL! I LIKE HIM SO MUCH!
So fast forward 20 years and I am now in a situation in which I am acquainted with someone that has no ability to see joy, or happiness for that matter. My first reaction was to be disgusted and ignore her.
But then I heard a whisper.
I took another look. This lady is a beautiful child created by my God. He loves her. He gave His Son for her. Whether or not she truly knows that is unknown to me. The fact that her entire life seems focused on stirring trouble and bitterness tears my heart to pieces.
Now, instead of being bothered by this person I have decided to try to love her. I don't know what the outcome will be, but that isn't going to stop me from listening to the whisper. It's doubtful that I will ever be close to this person, but I can pray for her and do my best to see her as God sees her. And I don't care what she says or does. It isn't going to bother me.
I am certain that I will see the LORD's goodness in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13