I don’t always know where the judgment has come from. In the midst of it, I feel afflicted, grieved and shamed. Through it, I know now to interact only with my Friend and Comrade, my God. Despite it, I am ministered goodness. And at the end of it, I become more of my truest self. I become more merciful, more kind, more compassionate, more of a friend to my sister or brother.
The opposition has managed to teach me something. I have become more of what I ought to be. More of the Me that God originally designed. “..we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing hat suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame, because Gods love has been poured into our hearts…” Romans 5:3-5. Don’t make a mistake! We do not rejoice for our sufferings! We rejoice in them! With God as our Friend, our Comrade and Companion in the midst of opposition, adversity and affliction, we have this hope: His love will produce goodness on our behalf, through it all. We will be more of what we ought to be. We will shine brighter, love deeper and we will be more of a friend to our sisters and brothers.
Yes, through it all, this is what we should have learned: to be more of a friend to our sisters and brothers. Let us consider David again…
He is not through with Shimei yet. He meets the man who hurled words and stones a second time. It is recorded in 2 Samuel 19:16-23. “And Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, from Bahurim, hurried to come down with the men of Judah to meet King David. And with him were a thousand men from Benjamin… .And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was about to cross the Jordan, and said to the king, ‘Let not my lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart. For your servant knows that I have sinned. Therefore, behold, I have come this day, the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.’ Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, ‘Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?’ But David said, ‘What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be as an adversary to me? Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?’ And the king said to Shimei, ‘You shall not die.’ And the king gave him his oath.” Inspiring!
Shimei had not been a friend to David, but David, through all of his suffering, had become a friend to Shimei… .even to the point of saving his life. The judgments of God are good and for our good. His Friendship in all things will produce in us friendship that offers salvation to our enemies. His Friendship will do this amidst any adversity from any source….