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Today’s Truth

Then the people brought their little children to Jesus. His followers told them to stop, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me. Don't stop them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people who are like these children’

Matthew 19:13-14

Friend to Friend

Life is not a series of accidents but a succession of divine appointments. That interruption we complain about, that intrusion we resent is simply a window of opportunity sent by God.

God uses the intrusive sandpaper person to rub off and sand away those attitudes and desires that are not wholly pleasing to Him. Like a well-sharpened scalpel, God uses difficult relationships to carve away the sinful mind-set that time is ours to arrange and spend, and that relationships are ours to dictate.

Our response to sandpaper people would drastically change if we adopted the perspective of building into every day’s schedule margins of time that allow for divine interruptions.

One Saturday night, our daughter Danna and I were invited to join a group of people from church for dinner. I did not really want to go. I was tired. I was broke, and I had not planned on spending the two hours it would take for our large group to eat. But Danna really wanted to go, so I gave in – with great reluctance and a fairly bad attitude.

As I suspected, it took a long time for our party to be seated at the restaurant. But what made matters worse was the fact that one of the grittiest sandpaper people in my life was also waiting in line and decided to join us for dinner. Why? “Oh, I need to talk to you,” she said when she spotted me. Lovely!

My sandpaper person began to share a legitimate problem she was having in her life. I had no idea she was facing the challenge she described. It made me realize that there just might be a reason for her abrasive behavior. I asked the Father to forgive me for my bad attitude and tried to help her find a solution.

When the waitress finally made it to me, I turned to Danna for her order – only to discover she hadn’t even opened her menu. In fact, she was staring across the room at what I suspected was some cute guy. But when I followed her stare, I was surprised to discover that the object of her attention was a little boy with Down’s syndrome. It was obvious that the child’s mother was tired and frustrated as she tried in vain to feed her son his dinner. “Mom, I have to go see him,” Danna said. Before I could list even one reason it would be a bad idea to do so, she was standing in front of the little boy’s table, introducing herself to his parents.

For thirty minutes, I watched the almost magical way my daughter interacted with Randy, entertaining him with napkins and menus, whispering secrets meant only for his ears, making him laugh while persuading him to eat his unwanted dinner. Carrying Randy from table to table, Danna introduced him to virtually everyone in the restaurant. Randy’s mom looked at me with tear-filled eyes and said, “Thank you for being here and for bringing your daughter. I was so tired and discouraged that we came here to get out of the house, something I don’t often get to do. Your daughter has reminded me just how special my son really is.”

 

I thought back for a moment. I thanked God that He had graciously overridden my selfish attitude and used a divine interruption to help me encourage a woman in need and used my daughter to encourage a weary mom and delight a special little boy.

Let’s Pray

Lord, please fill my heart with Your love for the sandpaper people in my life. Please let me see them as You see them. Use them, Father; to refine me to the place that I am the woman You created me to be. I choose to thank You for the difficult relationships in my life, knowing that through these abrasive people, Your work is accomplished in me.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

  • Write the name of your toughest sandpaper person in your journal.
  • Pray for that sandpaper person.
  • Thank God for bringing that difficult person into your life. What do you believe God wants to accomplish through this sandpaper person? Are you willing to trust Him enough to praise Him for that person?

More from the Girlfriends

Loving the unlovable is impossible – outside of God’s power and strength. Pray that God will give you His eyes to see the hurting and wounded He brings your way. And remember the timeless truth that hurt people…hurt people. The book, Sandpaper People, is my life story of how God taught me to deal with difficult people. Check it out!

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

4 Responses to “Divine Interruptions”

  1. sarah says:

    I’m a Christian, but I’m the sandpaper person lately. I’ve been so cynical and opinionated. I’ve been listening to world more than I’ve been listening to the holy spirit.
    At times it’s fun to be like this and join in the world, but in reality I’m miserable. I just always feel like a misfit in this life, in my family, in the world, in my church family, and I even feel like a misfit in the kingdom.
    I never feel like I belong and that I’m an overlooked accident.
    Sorry for rambling, but I guess all those “feelings” and “lies” are what’s making me the sandpaper person.

    • Sarah, I think we have all felt that way at times. One of the words that jumped out at me from your response was “feel” or “feelings” which you nailed in your last sentence. The enemy can really get to us and we can find ourselves in emotional trouble when we allow our feelings to control us … instead of controlling our feelings. When those lies come … go to the Word. My sweet and talented friend, Sharon Jaynes, has a great book that about the lies women tell themselves. Check it out on her website. Memorize Scripture and reject the lies of Satan with it. Turn away those false emotions and feelings with Psalm 139 … and I promise you that your cynicism will soften. Thank you for your honesty … and for sharing what so many of us are thinking. Blessings!!!

  2. Joy says:

    yes, thank you Sarah for your honesty and transparency. I feel just like you do! God knows where we all are 🙂

  3. Rachel says:

    Yes, my friend Marie comes to mind when I think about that particular scripture. The Kingdom is here for people like her and countless others like her. She’s selfless, loving, generous, pretty not to mention what her close friends call her a “girl Jesus” how awesome is that. Looking like Big Brother and transforming into him daily!!!

    Blocking traffic, getting in the way, accosting those that want what is truly theirs by virtue of their birthright is an offense not to mention. Reject the lies of Satan indeed as well as those Sandpaper people whose mere voice sends us up the wall! lol

    I got my word of Faith today, Sisters and Girlfriends!

    Marie this one is for you!!!!!Suffer not these for theirs is the Kingdom!

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