In January of 2016, I came home from a youth retreat to find a bed set up in the living room.
“Your great-grandmother is coming to live with us. She’s 90 and needs someone to look after her,” my dad explained.
Although this was surprising, my family did discuss it for almost a month prior to her moving in. I just didn’t really think it’d happen.
There were multiple dinner-table conversations where my parents talked about grandma. “It’s not going to be easy,” my dad explained. He went on to describe some challenging characteristics that my grandma has; characteristics that I wasn’t aware of.
At the end of January, grandma was moved out of her condo and moved into our living room. She had her own bed, chair, TV, and bathroom. We would provide her with meals every day.
In my mind, everything seemed fine and simple.
Then I got to watch my grandma’s true characteristics rear their ugly heads into life more and more. It started small, but over the past year it has grown tremendously.
The more we give to her, the more she takes. We even moved to a different house to accommodate her, but it’s still not enough to please her. She is rude, greedy, and snarky.
But, she is loved by Jesus.
I have to tell myself daily that Jesus loves her just as much as he loves me. I’m not one to think of myself as better than someone, but in this case, I tend to think that I am better than a bratty 90 year old.
In fact, I think that every day. And everyday I have to surrender that to God, because I don’t want to be a selfish person. That would make my heart ugly. Noooo thanks.
But anyways. Jesus died for my grandma. He gave his life for her, just like he gave his life for me. I am right next to grandma in God’s eyes. I am NOT better.
Just like how my grandma struggles with specific sins daily, I struggle with specific sins daily. I struggle with laziness and slander and jealousy, to name a few.
I struggle with some different sins than my grandma, but that doesn’t make me better or worse. It makes me human. It makes me equal with my grandma in God’s eyes.
My grandma is one of the most unloveable people that I’ve ever come across. At least, that’s how I feel about it. But not God. He loves her so so SO much. He sent Jesus to die for her. That should make me dance and sing and love her endlessly.
I really need to work on that.
So how about you? Is there someone in your life right now that you’re REALLY struggling to love? I mean, I may not know you personally, but I have a feeling that if you dig waaaay down in your heart, you’ll find some grudges and dislikes towards certain people.
If you do have that, dear friend, don’t let it sit there. Gross things grow in the darkness. Instead, bring it to light. Talk to God about it. Surrender it to Him. Talk to other believers about it and have them hold you accountable.
Don’t let rotten things like hate and pride sit in your heart, or it’s going to make things ugly.
You are loved, and so are they.