The Day God Took Away My Nice . . .

What kind of title is that?  I know you must be wondering.  So, here, I’m about to fill you in.

Have you ever done one of those spiritual gift tests?  I have.  Many times actually.  Maybe just to see what I already knew, maybe just sheer curiosity to see if it was something different.  But, the outcome, as I suspected, was always Mercy.  My number one spiritual gift is mercy.  And I do it well.  I let it define me.  I smile, I care about people, I cry when people are ugly or mean to other people.  I try very hard to step up and help if I can.  I genuinely love the human race and most of the people it.  I am nice, like nice to a fault.  I very rarely say no to anyone, I try to help when and where I can.  I volunteer for things, kids and animals flock to me like the modern day pied piper or Snow White.  You get it, I’m just a generally nice person.  And, I like it.

But, there’s a flip side to all my niceness.  There are times, I hate to admit, when while I am being Ms. Nice, I wonder . . . Why can’t that person be more compassionate, why can’t she see how badly that person is hurting and help?  Why can’t this guy stop yelling all the time and learn to appreciate the things around him?  Why can’t they be . . . (and oh, here it is) more like me.

Yes, I said it.  I had let my greatest pleasure and joy in life become being known for my kindness.  But then one day, like a bolt of lightening from the sky, so quick I didn’t even see it coming, it happened.  It was gone.  My nice was just . . . gone.

My husband, the love of my life and the mate for my soul, suddenly became unworthy of everything I had once thought he was so worthy of.  He could do nothing right.  He had started seminary school, and instead of rejoicing with him (as I had when he had confessed to me that he was considering it), I was bitter towards him.  Instead of loving him when he needed help, I yelled at him because I was too busy.

My compassion for other people, maybe not completely gone, but it was at an all time low.  I didn’t want to open my bible and read it, or post verses on Facebook, which I had always loved to do.  I was mad, I was angry, I didn’t want to talk to people, or have people talk to me.  I couldn’t shake it, and I hated it.  It took me a while to notice, a few weeks maybe, but I did notice.  I wasn’t the person I’d always been.  I was somebody different, somebody new, and somebody I didn’t like.

I began to pray about it and ask for God’s wisdom.  ‘Help me make this better.’ I would 1aask him.  Let me shake this anger, let me have a passion for my family, for my husband, for the lost and broken, give me all of that back.  I began talking to my husband, letting him know that I needed his prayers desperately, I coveted them.  I asked him to pray over me as we lay together in the last moments of the night before sleep overtook us both, and I felt better, but it would come back the next day in its same great splendor.  The anger and the rage and the uncaring.

But then, one day, while I was driving down the road, it hit me.  A revelation.  God said to me, loud and clear. ‘This isn’t about YOU.  I TOOK your mercy, just as I GAVE it to you.  I TOOK your nice, just as I GAVE it to you.  You had no part in it.  You are who you are because those are the gifts that I’ve given you.  Do not condemn my children because their gifts are different than yours.’

It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.  The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.  Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.  1 Corinthians 12:11-13 NLT

So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.  Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.  He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.  He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.  James 1:16-18 NLT

It was like the sky parted and angels were singing in the distance.  I almost stopped the car right where I was to get on my knees and pray because I needed to so badly.  I repented, I confessed and I begged God’s forgiveness.  How could I have been so blind, so undeserving?  But thank God He is merciful even when we can’t be.  And He never changes, even when we do.

And now, I feel restored, passionate again.  I am becoming New day after day, hour after hour and minute after minute.  God is pulling me closer to Him again and I am forever thankful. I am thankful for God’s unfailing wisdom, to love us, to guide us, and to redirect us when we need it.  Ask God to show you your path today, ask him to be redirected if that’s what you need to do, ask him to show you how to be obedient to Him, how to hear Him when he calls out to you, how to just talk to him.  He loves you and he wants to talk to you.  He loves you in a way only He can and it is a great, deep love you don’t want to miss out on.

~ Jak

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