God has provided for every living thing a way to project themselves. When we get sand inside our tennis shoes, we slip off our shoes to dump out the sand. When sand gets inside the shell of an oyster, the tiny bit of abrasion becomes life-threatening to the oyster’s soft, porous tissue. The oyster secretes an essence from its own life to create a pearl from that small irritating grain of sand.
What might happen if we did the same thing? Instead of trying to get rid of the abrasive people in our lives, we decided to welcome them into our lives, asking God to help us love them. Those annoying and even prickly people we wish would disappear might need us to show them God’s love. On the other hand, we might be learning how to exercise patience and grace because of their presence in our lives.
“Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” —Colossians 3:12–13
So although it might be painful, if we choose not to expel people from our lives automatically, God might actually use them to help change us into a pearl of His grace. Of course, we can’t love without God’s help. GK Chesterson says, “Love means to love that which is unlovable, or it is no virtue at all.”
Dear Father, I want to allow you to work in my life through any difficult circumstance, any person who is selfish or rude. Let me love as you love me. In Jesus’ name, amen.