Don’t Give Up on Me

“Don’t give up on me.” The words didn’t just come once. They came several times. Emphatically. “Don’t give up on me.” “Promise you won’t give up on me.” My friend had just gotten out of the hospital where she had been exceedingly sick, but by God’s grace was still alive. She had not just received medical care; she had gotten another wake-up call from God. As she shared with me some of the things she was coming to see, I reminded her that I had told her some of it over the past few years as I relentlessly shared Bible verses with her and did my best to teach her from God’s Word. She had resisted. She had rebelled. And, ultimately, she had distanced herself from me – to the point I thought I would lose her friendship despite how dear she is to me. How surprised I was to hear her imploring me not to give up on her. But then, I shouldn’t have been surprised at all – not really. Why?

photo behind the words courtesy of geralt via

For one, I had my own years of resisting, rebelling, and distancing myself. But what I had to come to learn is that when we resist, rebel, and distance ourselves from the messengers God sends to us to preach the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ, and to help us to learn and to grow, to change and learn to live the way God calls us to through helping us to study and to understand and to apply to our lives the Bible, who do you think we’re really resisting, rebelling against, and distancing ourselves from? From God! When I had pushed away God’s messengers, I had been pushing away the help God was sending me. And when my friend had done the same with me, she had been doing the same. Now my friend had a different message for me. “Don’t give up on me.” For she had realized that the help I had been giving her was the help she needed. And, as hard as it was to hear what God was pouring through me to give to her, she had come to see she needed to hear the Truth. God’s Truth.

Several years ago, when I found myself totally exacerbated, irritated, and losing my temper in the woods behind a gas station after weeks of driving hours back and forth once or twice a week to try to rescue a dog that had been hit by the two cars on the same day and refused to be rescued, I heard the Lord speak quietly into my heart. As I stood there on the verge of giving up on rescuing the dog,  He told me not to give up on one of my loved ones who has struggled for years with resistance, rebellion, and withdrawing. God was using the dog to teach me perseverance, and to help me to see when He calls us into someone else’s life to be His messenger, we need to obey. By God’s grace, and with the help of someone He sent, the dog was rescued. I named her Grace. As for the loved one, he struggles to this very day. But I have not given up!

Sometimes when I share with people how I see the fact I care for 17 mostly special needs and senior rescued dogs, I tell them this. “God didn’t give up on me. Who am I to give up on His Creation?” God has had every reason in the universe to give up on me given my decades of sin and my total brokenness resulting from both a wide variety of challenges, some not my own fault and some totally my fault. But God has not given up on me. So who am I to give up on anyone at all the Lord sends me to in order to share the Gospel and to minister His Word?

How often do we give up on people, and on animals, because our flesh has had enough of the challenge, the hurt, the pain, the discomfort, the time taken, the compassion needed, the patience required, the anything and everything necessary to remain in that person’s life? There can most assuredly be a time to walk away, but that time should only be when the Lord calls us to do so if He calls us to do so. But when God makes it abundantly clear that we should not give up on someone, we should not give up on that person – no matter the cost to our flesh.

Are you ready to give up on someone? If God is calling you to walk away, walk away. But if God is calling you to remain, remain. Do as He says, and trust Him to provide all that you need to do as He desires. 

Joh 15:12  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 
Joh 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 

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