Read: Titus 2: 11 – 15
1 Thessalonians 5: 23 – 24
2 Thessalonians 2:13
In these passages, we see that God’s heart strongly desires for us to be purified and made more into how He originally created us. He sees the best we have to offer, and labors with us to bring us to sanctification by the Spirit. We rebel and we chase our own desires – causing Him hurt, rejection, and disappointment; yet, He is faithful and does not give up pursuing the best for our hearts.
While teaching, there was a specific student that I labored HARD to see become her best self. I read all the books and articles. I attended all the trainings. I spent day after day building relationships with her and her family. I collaborated with all necessary school staff. I spent time daily praying for her and for wisdom in how to best reach her. I stocked my classroom with her favorite snacks and award incentives. I also took most of the brunt of her outbursts and frustrations with other students and school staff. I would just sit with her patiently, as she exploded and even said hateful things to me. After releasing her frustrations in a safe environment, she could decompress and prepare herself to go back to her classroom. She knew that even at her darkest, “ugliest” times that I still loved her and I wouldn’t leave her alone. While all of these tactics and strategies worked beautifully for some of my other students, it just never seemed to resonate with her. Even now that I do not teach her anymore, I try to check in on how she is doing, and am heartbroken to hear how poorly things have been going for her. Although I labored hard, it still didn’t get her to the best of herself. For me, I had to set a boundary and determine to release her to God’s care. Selfishly, though, I also released worrying for her because it made things easier for me.
I can certainly empathize to an extent of how God must feel laboring for our hearts so diligently – even to the point of death. Yet, we still rebel and reject Him. I had to throw in the towel and watch with heartache from a distance because of my human limitations; however, He is a God who draws near. He is faithful to see our sanctification through. He already knows the worst of us and isn’t surprised by the darkest parts of ourselves. He loves us even in those moments.
Smile in a Cup: He is a God who draws near. He is faithful to see our sanctification through.
Challenge: Let’s pray 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and Titus 2:11-15 over ourselves – that God would sanctify us completely. That we would be self-controlled and blameless at the coming of Christ. That He would give us a greater longing and hope in the longing for Jesus than in our worldly desires.