Do you know any stiff-necked people? We all have our own definition of ‘stiff-necked’. It is a word that cannot escape our attention. I think of it as inflexible, slow to compassion, awkward, quick to judge, even cruel.
Moses understood his own people to be stiff-necked, ignorant and ungrateful. Yet he begged for the Lord to forgive. No wonder he was loved by his people and by God. He had staying power.
Matthew’s gospel eludes to stiff-necked people as weeds that the Devil sows. We know these folks, and they aren’t always the hardened criminal we see on the news. We all face these stiff-necked folks everyday in our jobs, in our family tensions, it’s all around us. Sometimes people and situations take on an evil façade, so much so, we feel incapacitated to respond. I have to remind myself, that God loves the weak, that when I face the evil one working against me, I have to remember that humility is truth, and truth is GOD.
Then I realize after I have prayed with God over what to do about a difficult situation, my adversities seem miniscule when I read about women in the Congo who endure far more evil than our imagination will allow.
Honorata, an African heroine who has endured unfathomable atrocities, serves as a reminder to women all over the world, marginalized and beaten down, that truth must be told, that we must stand up for our beliefs, whether it be the workplace, the family home or in our churches.
God gives us the staying power necessary to run the race if we only ask for it… for the Lord is kind and merciful. Suddenly I can be grateful for the suffering that comes my way, when I see how others suffer far worse than I. Still, I remain vigilant to the Lord speaking to me through my joys and sorrows.
Click here to read more about the Crisis in the Congo and an organization formed to help women survivors of war rebuild their lives.
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