When people let you down. When they hurt you. Say the wrong thing. Disappoint you. Disagree with you. Don’t meet your needs. Don’t meet your wants. Don’t hear you out. Don’t understand. Don’t see things your way. Frustrate you. Confuse you. Drive you crazy. Make you cry. Make you mad. Take your breath away.
When decisions are made that you don’t agree with. When you are discouraged. When you just don’t get it.
What do you do?
First, maybe we could stop being shocked that this is all about the when, and not the if. People are going to let us down. People are going to hurt us. People are going to fail. This is a part of life. People are human.
How’s that for a redundant, yet powerful statement? People are…human. Even the God-fearing ones. Sometimes right and wrong is involved and sometimes its just a matter of perspective or opinion or preference. But no matter what it is, there will be times we feel the ache of discouragement over a person’s words or actions.
Hello, human person. I am also a human person. Thank you for coexisting with me in a fallen world in which God is still supreme and you and I are striving yet still awkward human people with weaknesses. Is this why you sometimes let me down? Is this why I sometimes let you down too? I’m sorry for this. Sometimes it’s hard to be a human person with you.
So this. What do we do when someone lets us down?
Wallow in a corner? Feel sorry for ourselves and complain to others about how unfair life is and how stupid people are? Replay conversations over and over in our heads, attempting to imagine a better outcome? I mean, those are certainly options, and wonderful ways to remain in a state of non-productivity for the Kingdom. So go ahead, if it helps you feel better. Which it won’t.
This is what I know is true. People are going to let me down. I can cry (and I do), I can feel the sting (because it does), I can acknowledge that I am hurt (because I am).
And then I can turn to Jesus.
As in, literally, I find some quiet and I turn to the red letter pages of the Gospels. All other words can feel jumbled to me when I am upset or confused or hurting. But the red letters are solid. They are the words Jesus spoke to all the human people. They are words of promise, words of hope, words with roots, words of Life.
It is here, in the red letters, I find fulfillment and focus. It is here that I find perspective. It is here that I find grace.
Grace to hold and grace to give – the perfect gift from Jesus for all the human people.