Blog posts that provide encouragement for marriage and family success.

Excuses & Misunderstandings

I was sitting in the hard pew at church. The cushions have been removed due to covid. Only my family is sitting near me. Everyone else is more than 6' away. The pastor is talking way up front (I'm a rear-church sitter, please don't judge me).

I can't tell you the songs we sang or the readings for the day. All I can tell you is that the pastor made a point about Jesus that got me thinking. This happened in late 2019, too. The pastor said something that really got me thinking. I decided to take the new year to ponder the point and integrate it into my life. Turns out it was the perfect directional thought at the time.

So there we were, at the very beginning of 2021. Hard pew, few people, pastor far up front. Again the pastor says something that may be life-changing for me. As soon as I hear it the implications for my sanity and my relationships swirl in my head. I don't hear anything else he says. And the presence of my family moves out of my awareness.

I go home and write it down in my Bible study journal. I decide it will be my directional thought for the year.

Time passes, work and life get busy, I forget.

But last Sunday the Gospel reading brought me right back to this directional thought.

John 2:13-22 NLT -- It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. 16Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
17Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”c
18But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”
19“All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20“What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” 21But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. 22After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.John 2:13-22 NLT -- It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. 16Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
17Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”c
18But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”
19“All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20“What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” 21But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. 22After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.

The Jewish leaders were confused. They thought Jesus meant the literal temple but He meant the temple of His body. It was only much later, after his resurrection, that they realized what He meant. I can just imagine that "aha" moment!

But here's the directional thought from my pastor: Jesus didn't make an excuse. He didn't clear up the misunderstanding. He let time take care of it. He knew that in time the people would understand.

My pastor's point was that there are times for us, too, that we don't need to make excuses or clear up misunderstandings. Time can bring understanding for us, too. We can trust God to bring understanding to those that need it.

This is a huge thought for me. Far too often I jump to my own defense...or my kids' defense...or my husband's...you get the idea. I'm ready to explain and explain some more in an effort to get someone to see my point of view.

But why? Is it crucial? Do they need to understand? What would happen if I just let it ride? If I just let God take care of it?

Letting go of the misunderstanding and taking hold of God helps my sanity because I no longer feel the need to sit and stew. I don't need to spin with words to clear it up. My mental health can rest in knowing that God has everything under control.

For my relationships this means that I can stop trying to fix everything. I can let God be in control of the relationship, instead of trying to force my own control of the situation. In that time I can rest in relationship instead of struggle. My peace can bring peace to our relationship. We don't need to understand everything all the time to have good relationships. With God at the center of our relationships we can trust that He will take care of things in due time.

Certainly, there are times we need to explain a situation or clear up a misunderstanding. But this year I'm working on praying first. And I'm learning to be content in the misunderstandings, knowing that God understands all and will make it right in His time.