If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.’ Mark 6:1-13 Sometimes you just have to walk away. It doesn’t matter what you do. It doesn’t matter what you say. It doesn’t even matter if you are right, it won’t be received. Jesus’ advice may seem a little harsh, but there are times when you need to not leave any remnant of a situation lingering that it may remind, entice and cause you to turn back towards a battle you are never going to win. If you have done what God has sent you to do, consider all your efforts a seed planted that perhaps someone else will water. When their heart is in the right place – in time, God’s plan for them will work out another path of change.
How many storms must we go through before our faith breaks through and we are not concerned about what other people say about our weaknesses? If the truth be known, we are weak in various ways that all too often we are afraid to admit, because we fear that we will be scorned, rejected, or taken advantage of somehow. But that’s not what needs to happen, and normally it doesn’t. Rather, if we allow our faith in God to break through, God’s power will come to us and help us in the way that we need help. Most of the time that help comes in the way of changing our way of thinking, from a physical point of view to a spiritual one. Pauls’ letter to the Romans (12:2) encourages us that we should “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God…” Recently I had a dream about a previous event that caused great pain in my life. When I awoke for a moment I thought I was still in the dream. I looked around and realized that I was safe, but I also realized that the event would forever be like a thorn in my side, except without the fear, without the frustration, without the power it seem to have in my life. My weakness remains, as Paul’s thorn remained, but with God’s power inhabiting that weakness, he has turned it into his strength to do what I was meant to do and in fact need to do, that I may inherit the joy, the love, and indeed the very life, that God wants to bestow upon me. The dream served to remind me to depend on and have faith in God’s mercy and his grace. Understanding that this is very different from depending on one another, which as we all know can be risky, particularly since we are all imperfect in some way; the good news is that because of our relationship with Christ, God takes on that risk if we just allow him by our faith to be in control of our lives and we learn to forgive one another as God has forgiven us.