Several years ago I stood at the choir door waiting to enter the choir loft. The sanctuary was animated with sounds of happiness and greetings. Our church was alive with the Spirit of God and His goodness.

Let’s just say, the enemy wasn’t too pleased.

My place in the choir line was behind a member of the congregation who was not happy with the recent church growth. As I was hugging a friend and laughing, Ruth* suddenly turned around and snarled, “Shhh! You are too loud!” Her softly wrinkled face was contorted with pure hatred. I stood stunned. Church had not begun. No one was being disrespectful or irreverent. We were merely celebrating the Lord. Ruth’s venom gushed forth and sprayed me with the stench of evil. “Lord,” I prayed, “Help me. What do I do? Defend me Lord.” I knew this woman wanted us removed from the pastorate. I also knew that she was a bitter old soul.

I could feel God’s Spirit rising up within me. In His mercy, God poured out His grace and gave me the courage to face my foe with His love. I extended my arms and gave Ruth a hug. I gently reminded her that the people were excited to worship God. Whoops. Big mistake. More poison sprayed my face, ” Well, this is the Lord’s house and everyone is too noisy. Especially you!”

The vicious words cut me deep. My eyes welled up with tears, my hands began to shake. “Father, help me,” I prayed. With all the graciousness I could muster I said, “Ruth, I’m so sorry you are offended.”

“Well, you should know better!” she said.

Within moments, we made our way into the choir loft. I smiled at the congregation, but on the inside I was a mess. “Father, help me forgive her. Please show me what to do.” During the greeting time I again reached out to Ruth with God’s love. This time the venom was gone. Just as quickly as the attack had begun, the evil had slithered away.

Are you, my reader, thinking, “Man, what a goody-two-shoes? I would’ve let her have it with both barrels!” Well…here’s the thing…There was a time when I would have let her have it too. But, God’s been working on me.

2 Corinthians 3:18 reads, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a  mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

…are being transformed into the same image…

What image? The image of Christ Jesus. As we seek the Lord – as we behold His glory – the Word tells us that we will begin to reflect that which we behold – HIM! Jesus.

God gave me the grace to reflect His Son that day. The transformation did not happen overnight and it is far from complete, but I have made a determination in my heart that I want to represent Jesus to a hurting world. Yes, Ruth was spewing poisonous words all over me, but the source of the poison was a root of bitterness deep within her, caused by past hurts and disappointments. Only Jesus could heal and deliver her. I was merely a vessel for God to pour out His grace and love on this hurting woman. God’s grace diffused the venom and planted seeds of righteousness in her spirit.

Have you, too, heard the call to be like Jesus? You will find that His grace is sufficient and He will give you the wings of eagles to rise above the difficulty.

I encourage you: stand still and experience the goodness and grace of God in your trying circumstances.

His grace will amaze you.

Father, God, it is so hard to love the difficult people, but yet, You call us to do just that. I am reminded that it is not by might, nor by power, but by Your Spirit. Lord, show Yourself strong in our lives. Help us to lift Your banner high, to reflect Your glory to those around us. Lord, help us to be more like Jesus. Thank You Lord. Thank You for Your grace in trying circumstances. We love you Lord.
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It’s time to plan Christmas events for your ladies. I would love to share God’s goodness and Presence with them. I travel from the mountains of NC (Ashe County). If you are interested, please visit my website, www.jubilantlight.com or you may contact me directly at nan@jubilantlight.com. Thank you for your prayerful consideration.
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If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page to worship with Fernando Ortega as he sings, “Lord, I Want to Be Like Jesus”. What a beautiful and powerful prayer-song. Sweet blessings to  you!