I felt so misunderstood.
I had retraced my words. Evaluated my intentions and searched my heart. I had begged Jesus that if there was any wicked way in me, he would bring it to light and lead me to repentance.
Now even with the best of intentions, plenty of times I have been wrong to the core. But this one particular instance – even though it didn’t earn me a seat at the popular “lunch table” – I felt like I had rightly stood up for truth.
And I had paid the price.
I remember telling my husband that I wanted to stand up on a podium and validate my case to the world. I would make them understand that they had it all wrong, and my reputation would quickly be restored to its rightful place.
And he sweetly told me to close my mouth and to suffer well.
Look, I want to be bold for God. I really do. And there will be times when he calls me to stand on that “podium” and shout his name from the rooftops without holding back.
Oh God, help me not to miss it.
But sometimes being bold means not retaliating, even when we’re in the right. Sometimes it means submitting, even when life doesn’t seem all that fair. And as much as you and I don’t want to hear this – some days we’ll suffer unjustly, and the right thing to do will be to close our mouths and to humbly take it.
I had fallen asleep with my Bible on my lap more nights in a row than I could count. Suffering has a funny way of making me run harder – cling more desperately – to such rich, live-giving Truth.
When I woke – my heart still heavily burdened – I looked down on the wrinkled pages and poured over those beautiful, humbling words again…
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
And hard tears fell onto the pages.
He could have fought back, proving his innocence.
He could have claimed all authority by making his power and presence known.
He could have called for twelve legions of angels to come to his rescue at any moment.
But instead he remained misunderstood, even to death, because he trusted that his Father would make things right in the end.
“The sufferings of Christ should quiet us under the most unjust and cruel sufferings we meet with in the world. He suffered voluntarily, not for himself, but for us, with the utmost readiness, with perfect patience, from all quarters, and all this though he was God-man. Shall not we sinners, who deserve the worst, submit to the light afflictions of this life, which work for us unspeakable advantages afterwards?” ~ Matthew Henry
Feeling misunderstood? Look to the cross, and represent well the One who died in your place.
And if you must speak, boldly claim your victory…
Hallelujah, all I have is Christ.
Hallelujah, Jesus is my life.
And let that be enough.
At His feet,
*LET’S TALK: Where do you need to suffer well today by not fighting back?