Daily Devotion

You Don't Know What I've Been Through
"Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
"After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."  1 Peter 5:10
Evening!  I just watched this documentary about child immigrants from Mexico and Central America that are trying to get to the United States.  It just reminds me of how little we know about the person standing next to us.  We don't know their personal struggles and the daily battles they fight.  I'm going to work on not making first impression judgments of people anymore at all. 
Has this ever happened to you:  well, I went to get a pedicure one day in one of my funky little summer sundresses that probably showed one of my tattoos.  Awkward stares for several reasons: probably number one, simply because of the large tattoo on my back I may look like I could be classified in a certain demographic.  But the minute I open my mouth to speak with intelligence, the looks begin to reflect bewilderment–because I can speak and express myself with intelligence and articulation.  If the judgmental onlookers would look more closely, they would see that my tattoos are expressions of triumph and all identify a particular period in my life.  All are spiritual expressions of some thing I have overcome.  Even further, the few curiously pursue a conversation and venture to ask the forbidden: "Young lady, why do you have such a thing on you?"  I would love to do nothing but yell, but I decide to kill them with kindness and educate them.  I have the large tattoo of a cross on my back with Psalm 27:1 inscribed in the scroll with African violets adorning it for several reasons–1. I am not afraid because God is my lord.  2. I carry my own cross daily and I am a living example of God's goodness and that He still operates in miracles.  3. I am reminded that I have nothing to fear because He loves me.  4. With the help and beauty of a special group of "violets" I realized this and overcame.  5. Lastly, I love art because I am an artist at heart and this is simply an expression of my love for God.  This earthly body I inhabit will eventually fade away, so I am going to take care of it as I please and "decorate" it as such.  I ended up having a very spirited conversation with one of the few, but it just goes to show we don't know the story of the person in front of us.
Long story, but simply, we don't know what other people go through.  The bible tells plenty of times not to judge others.  But when we are the target of harsh and unnecessary judgments, we must remind ourselves that God goes with us, that we are not to be afraid or to even care about the words of others.  Life is not going to afford us the opportunity to prove everyone who judges us wrong, but in the midst of those situations we must turn to the wisdom of God's word to get through.  God's promises do hold true and He will do what He says.  Be encouraged!
"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me"  John 14:1

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