Have you ever had someone just hate you for reasons that you just could not figure out? I have. We worked together. She scoffed at me. Gossiped about me. Disagreed with me at every meeting. One time she screamed at me during the meeting and stormed out. She blamed me for things that weren't my fault. She even "tattled" on me to my supervisor for having a scripture verse on my email. I tried to be nice to her but the nicer I was the nastier she became. I just could not figure it out.
I wasted so much time and energy in emotional distress over this situation. I was busy being angry, hurt, and confused. My poor husband had to listen to me vent every day over this! I finally decided one day to surrender this situation to the Lord in prayer.
Not long after, this same young lady knocked on my office door. When I opened it, I thought, "she's here to apologize...it's about time." But instead, she said, "Can I talk to you? 'Lisa' told me about a situation you've gone through...and I'm going through the same thing. I was hoping I could get your advice about this."
Although I gave it to God was no longer lamenting over this, my first reaction was, "Why in the world did 'Lisa' tell my business to the person who is on my 'dislike' list?" I would get at her later. My second thought was, "Why in the world should I give this woman any advice! I should just throw her right out of my office!" But then, I was reminded that the same God who loved me, loved her. And the same God that forgives me, forgives her. Jesus said we should love those who persecute us. "Here's your opportunity," the Spirit whispered.
She sat down and began to tell me her story, and I saw the hurt, sorrow, and sadness in her eyes. The Spirit-filled my heart with compassion. So I held her hand tightly. And comforted her as she cried.
Now that you've read this story, I want you to imagine the back story. This young lady was not a Christ-follower which means she did not have the Spirit of God to guide her through her situation. Therefore, she was ruled by her emotions and is susceptible to the enemy's skims. I believe that I became a target to which she projected her anger regarding her situation. Secondly, I was very vocal about my belief in Jesus. And anytime we proclaim to know Christ, it changes the atmosphere! The enemy goes to work. For a while, I had not been in prayer about this, so imagine what would have happened had I acted on my instincts and slammed the door in her face. Or if I decided to start talking bad about her the way she talked about me. I was in a higher position, so I could have made things very difficult for her. Just think about what that would do to my testimony. See, this is what the enemy wanted. Oh, but I was reminded by the Spirit that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12.
When I quit the busyness of the emotional rollercoaster, and I finally surrendered this situation to God, my eyes were open to what was really going on! And look at what God did! He turned the whole situation around so that what the enemy meant for evil, was used for good. Gen. 50:20 Because I chose to forgive this woman, she was able to come to me with her concern. Not only did she come to me, but she also gave me a card and a little gift a few days later.
Here are the take-aways from this story:
You never know what someone might be going through.
Watch out because the enemy uses people to tempt you.
Prayer changes your perspective.
God changes things when we surrender.
Do you have a story similar to this one? Share it in the comments section. I would love to read it. Please like and share this testimony with someone who might need it.
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