KNOW HOW YOU SHOULD RESPOND
October 08, 2021
Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray today for the salvation of our co-workers and our students. Please help us to love the unlovely with Your great love and show extra grace and mercy. Thank You. Amen.
Scripture: Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:6 NASB (1995)
It was early in October and my daughter, Emily, and I headed into a large store behind an adorable little girl that we were guessing to be about two or three years old. As we walked into the store, a large mechanical witch was triggered and began to shriek and move her arms and long twisted fingers. Emily tried to run between the witch and the little girl to keep her from being scared, but there was too much distance to cover. The little girl stood staring at the witch for a moment and then unexpectedly she walked right up to it and began to hug it! The mechanical witch continued to squirm and screech but the little girl held on tight, refusing to let go, apparently until the witch felt loved. Her mother finally pulled her away, and with a final kiss on the witch’s cheek she smiled and waved goodbye.
“What just happened?” Emily asked. “A life lesson” I replied. Awestruck by the girl’s response, Emily was willing to listen. The first lesson is that the witch seemed unlovable to us; she was scary and different looking; nothing about her would draw us to her, but the little girl looked deeper. Somehow she equated the witch’s shriek with a need for love. The complaints, language, appearance, and sometimes downright offensiveness of other people may prompt us to judge and even act offensively back at them, but all of these may just be a cry for attention, a need to be noticed and even loved. Of course the witch was mechanical and had no feelings, but I am sure that you have run across people who you would have rather circumvented, but after hearing their story or offering some care and concern to them, they were changed and maybe you were too.
Secondly, what was meant to frighten turned into an opportunity. I suffer from fear and I get really scared sometimes. If the witch had her way and had done the job she was created to do, the little girl would have gone running scared to death out of the store or at least have thrown a good crying fit. Sometimes Satan sends people or situations into our paths in hopes of scaring us off or out of God’s plan. He knows your fears and weaknesses and believe me, nothing makes him happier than to see you run the opposite direction of where God has sent you. Satan at least hopes that he can delay you and get you to throw a fit. What did we learn from the little girl? If something shows up to try to scare you off, the reward must be really good. Face your fear with faith and boldness in what God has ahead for you. When you embrace your fears with the love of God, they do not seem so big and scary.
Lastly, what Satan has sent to distract or derail you can grow you and be a witness to those around you. There were several people standing in that doorway, employees and shoppers, by the time that little girl kissed the witch and moved on. We all stood there dumbstruck by her unwavering happiness as she moved in an almost dance-like way into the store. What do onlookers see when you face something scary or difficult in your path? How do you react when there is something or someone standing between you and somewhere you want to go? Do they see love and patience? Do they see caring and unselfishness? Do they see the unexpected? Does it draw people to watch in awe or is it just awful? This little girl’s reaction sent us away, wishing we could be more like her.
My prayer for you is that you would live out these lessons of love over judgment and fear, trusting God, so that you will always know how you should respond.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. To connect with the author, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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