Do you ever have one of those middle of the night dreams or wake up with a revelation about something that has been on your mind, something that has been bothering you that you cannot seem to resolve?
I found myself in that place a couple of weeks ago. A place where some important relationships seemed damaged and maybe without repair. Where I couldn't uncover what was really happening, what was causing me such distress and confusion. These things were heavy on my heart, really weighing me down. Thankfully in the midst of it all and when I really needed a break, God blessed me with some unexpected getaways to not one but two Disney resorts for a bit of fun- both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. When I returned home, all came back in full force, but then came some unexpected insight in an unexpected manner.
Tired and worried from from months of dealing with the situations at hand, after a bit of prayer, I collapsed into bed with my wonderful wife. Then it happened: I woke up in the middle of the night with the solution: I was fighting ghosts. And this is what they were:
Past mistakes- I was being haunted by things I had done wrong and not trusting God for the gracious forgiveness of my sins. Second doubting that I was seeing things clearly because I could not accept the love given me in the midst of my imperfections and struggles. Forgetting it was not all about me and instead remembering it was all about Jesus' successful accomplishment of His work on the cross: He and he alone is the perfect sacrifice for the shortcomings of all men, including me. The battle was no longer mine, but His- and Jesus was victorious.
Old Hard Relationships- Because of previous wounds from other folks, I was viewing my current situations and friendships in light of them. A filter that was dirtied by old hurts. This only made my situation worse. Just as I am new in Christ, I have to remember that people change and grow, they heal as they allow God to work in their lives. I remembered that I needed to give the grace I wanted as well.
Competition- Here's the biggest ghost of all: I was trying to compete in an area I am not qualified to compete in. I am not God, yet I thought it was my responsibility to fix things. Not saying I am not responsible to do what is right in God's eyes. But I am saying it is not my rsponsibility to put everything back in place. Neither am I able to compete with old and established friendships that are decades old. We will all face favoritism at times and sometimes are on the losing end. It's just human nature. My ultimate responsibility is to accept my situation at hand and trust God in the midst of it. He does know best. He has proven it over and over.
How did it all play out? Well, weeks later, I am at peace. Therefore, I am much happier and much more settled. I'm persevering. And you know what, the tension has disappeared and the situations at hand are being exposed for what they are. I am easier to live with, and my gentler demeanor is making others look at me- and the situations- in a new light. The ghosts of the past and present are finally gone.