They knew they were right where God wanted them to be—in relationship with each other, but they were ready to bail. They didn’t tell each other this but they told me individually just days apart that the relationship was too hard. They didn’t want to deal with confrontations, taming the flesh, hurt emotions and facing the truth. They didn’t want to “be stretched,” though they each knew this was God’s way of molding them and helping them reach new heights in love, maturity, and faith in Him. They didn’t want to risk the comfort of their lives, the predictability of their space. They just wanted to remain safe.
I know this crossroad, coming to my most critical one last summer when it was time to offer for our friends to live in our home temporarily for an uncertain period of time. We would double the size of our family but not double the size of our space. We would have to daily live with each others’ idiosyncrasies, likely expose our insecurities and confront each other when our different ways conflicted and offended. We would have to defer to each other when we were used to doing things our own way. As I’ve told you before, I dismissed what initially seemed like a random thought that popped in my mind when I clearly heard that my friends “will come live with you.” Circumstance after circumstance pointed that we were the likely choice, though the blending of two households had my husband hesitating about the offering. I, on the other hand, was excited about the prospect of living out the “all things common” of the early Church but began to waver when my husband wavered. Though we were clear that God was the one who last spring gave me what we now know was a directive, we waited to invite them into our home when we seemed to be the best viable option. We did so because we knew this was what God wanted.
My friends always knew, and we did too, that God would not leave them homeless. He was going to provide them shelter. It didn’t have to be in our home, but God did choose our home. Why did God choose our home? Why did He choose us? The only way we would be guaranteed to know the answers to these questions, apart from God being gracious and unveiling the whys before our new living arrangement, would be to participate in God’s plan. After six months together, we—all 10 of us—have grown in numerous ways, chief for me in grace. God’s love for my friends was his love for me and my family. He knows what we all needed and our living together was the method He chose to provide for us. God knows what we all need and He often provides for our needs through people.
God has chosen you to show His love to someone else. And this arrangement often transcends what you can do for others, though that’s great, but you must know that God may want to reshape you and others when He selects you to love somebody. What arrangement with someone else is God calling you to? Who has He called for you to show love to that will also benefit you? Are you running from such a calling and missing the love God has for you? Will you cooperate with the arrangement God has in store? The only way to grow beyond where you are is to go where God leads you. You have to choose. God loves us all and He commands that we love others. When we love others we show that we love God. So when you face that tough decision to proceed with an arrangement you know God has called you to, remember, God loves them too and He sent you to be in relationship with them because He loves them. When you decide that a person doesn’t deserve your love or you don’t have the time or energy to love them, you must remember that God loves them. He doesn’t desire for any to needlessly suffer or perish. He is pulling for them to love Him, to love others right, to get their ways straight and He is counting on you to help in this process.
Take a Risk Challenge: Think about who God is calling you into relationship with, the one that you are hesitant about, and ask God to give you the strength to enter. Be ready to watch Him radically love them through you and see how you both grow from them.