A previous post of mine talked about forgiving people who have wronged us, and believe me, I had to and continue to try and be the first partaker of the fruit! When I wrote the post, I was thinking of people close to us like family and friends. The forgiving and attitude check must extend to the “stranger” as well.
Last year, I had to take a trip for work, so I skipped on to the airport, stowed my carry-on bag and took my seat. An older lady boarded after me with her roller board bag, looking for an empty spot in the overhead to stow it. She opened up the area where my bag happened to be and took it out. I see people do this all the time, to shift and make room for all the bags, so no big deal right? WRONG!
“Miss Lady” proceeded to stow her bag, and leave mine in the floor, and take her set behind me, claiming my bag was in her spot!! HELLO????!!!!!!!!!! The seated passengers looked at me in horror, while I blinked in disbelief and scrambled to make an audible sentence. I think I said something like, “I wasn’t aware this was kindergarten where we had assigned spaces, ” to whit another passenger told her, “that isn’t the way things worked”. At that point without realizing it, I actually started praying aloud and asked the Lord to help me to deal with the situation. I thought about the scene that could have ensued had I yelled at her–I’d probably be the one escorted off the plane!
The Lord heard my cry and some of the other passengers aided me to help find a place for my bag and even offered to help me get it after we landed. I looked at her a few times to get a read on her face, but she wouldn’t really look my way. God bless her.
I don’t know what was going on in her head to exhibit such crazed behavior, but let me tell you, the grace of God surrounded my mouth and actions, and to Him I am grateful. I am not confrontational anyway, so getting in someones face is not my style. I will say, I don’t like being mistreated, either, so suffering in silence is not always approps–I’m thinking prayer was the fastest route to the right answer.
Looking back, I know this was an attack of the enemy and the Lord must have been testing my reaction and way of handling the situation in the spirit and not in the flesh. While the Lord blessed me to get through part of the situation successfully, in retrospect, I wished I had talked with her.
When people are depressed, hurting, upset or whatever, they direct their anger at whoever is in the path. Often, we take it personally (sometimes it is personal) but mostly not. As people professing salvation, and knowing Jesus can heal, save and deliver like nothing/no one else, we have to practice letting people know that, rather than sucking out teeth in disgust or laying people out.
Titus 3:3-5 reminds us we ourselves were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lust and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But after the kindness and love of God our Savior towards us appeared, not by our righteous works, but He saved us according to mercy, by His blood and Holy Ghost. That verse sobered me right up! With God’s grace, I will hide that Word in my heart, so I will dig deeper when something like that happens again.
Bottom line: People of God, when we see someone “acting up”, let’s ask the Lord what the best way is to minister to them. Whether through a quiet prayer, conversation, scripture sharing, a tract (my mom says I should have given her one :-D) or witnessing, in all we do, we want God to be glorified, His name magnified and that enemy horrified!