Your difficult person? A chisel in the hands of God

“Pray for me,” read the message, “and for *____. He’s so petty, insecure, and immature sometimes (in light of the fact that) he’s supposed to be a spiritual leader. Passive aggressive.” Etc., etc., etc. in an old, familiar refrain of narcissists everywhere. In my quiet, country kitchen, I paused for a bit. Then I picked up my phone and sent this back.

Years ago, my husband labored for a man who was almost identical to the description above. In fact, so troubling was his treatment there that I began to refer to his boss as Ted The Oppressor (name changed, of course). Not only did he pour out his own inadequacies and insecurities on those around him, he also behaved in ways that were unethical and dishonest. For those beneath him on the corporate ladder, there was no recourse but to endure. And so my husband endured.

There came a day when it was clear that it was time to leave. Another door was opening, and my husband knew in his heart it was time.

Something fascinating happened, though, at his very last meeting with his soon-to-be-former boss. For the first time, it was not my husband who was nervous and wary. For the first time, he faced his tormentor with confidence. And for the first time, it was the boss whose lips quivered, whose demeanor was cowed and unsure. All of this came to me as I replied to the morning messenger.

“What is happening right now is preparation. That former boss? He prepared my husband for his true calling, for his sweet spot. Because he taught him to have a thicker skin, it set him up perfectly to do what he’s doing now and to be successful at it.

“It is like that with you. You are being prepared. He is only a tool in the hands of God, a chisel. It’s like Michelangelo in the chunk of granite. It took a chisel, hard and sharp, to shape him. It took hammering and pounding, but one day, the sculptor knew it was finished, and he laid his chisel down. This is you.

“One day, God will see fit to either release you from this man, or He will remove him from you. I don’t know how long it will be, but it will not last forever.”

I told him that the man for whom he requested prayer, that very man is his trainer. “The people who have hurt me the most in life?” I told him, “They have been my trainers. They have pushed me into a deeper relationship with God than I would ever have had if God had not allowed them in my life.

“This might not help you feel better right now, today, but it will help you to endure and persevere, and you need that kind of stamina.” So let the chiseling and training do its work.

For the one who finds himself at the mercy of a difficult person, let me recap what I have learned at the hands of my own difficult people.

— He or she is your greatest trainer.

— This training time is preparation for what comes next.

— Your difficult person is a chisel in the hands of God. Which means that God has ultimate control.

— When the sculpting is done, God will remove him/her from you, or He will remove you from him/her.

— The sculpture can never be set free from the granite without the work of the chisel and the expertise of the sculptor.

— This will not last forever. It’s only a season. Embrace it.

I hope this helps you to see the bigger picture. I hope it will help you to endure and persevere, two character traits you will need to be successful down the road.

With love,

America’s small, caffeinated mom

PC:  MustangJoe from Pixabay

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