Do Not Gloat

By A. N.
I prayed for an entire year, and I mean the on-my-face-weeping-before-the-Lord kind of praying, asking for God's choice for a husband for me--GOD'S CHOICE, not my own AND THAT HE'D CHANGE MY HEART TOWARD HIM. (Yes, that's exactly what I prayed.) I didn't have a great track record for picking men that were good for me. And there came my husband. Not my type--we didn't even like each other! And the worst of all: he had children. This was breaching my "no baby mama drama" policy! "God, are you sure you've got this right?" But I obeyed, and eventually we fell in love God's way.

From the moment we said I do, the war with bio-mom was on. I think some of y'all know what I'm talking about. She turned my honeymoon into a nightmare. There was no happy new bride--she went after my marriage, my wallet and my happy self and turned me into the working poor, angry and miserable. My happy new life went upside-down, and I prayed. And cried. And got mad. And prayed some more. I learned how to issue the kind of grace that can only come from the Lord. I learned how to lean so hard on Him that her drama wouldn't shake me to the core every darned time she went on the warpath. And I learned how to be happy in spite of everything.

As stepmothers, we suffer. We endure trial after trial, hurting for our husbands, our children, ourselves. We pray and do our best to be the women God has called us to be. And then something happens. Bio-mom hits rock bottom, or hard times, or whatever it is that is causing difficulty in HER life. Maybe because of her own doing, maybe not. Oh, my... how badly I want to dance to her misery at last! I want to jump, I want to sing, I want to laugh at what's about to happen. I see what she's finally done--she's had enough rope and she's about to swing...

But she's not really my enemy, is she? It sure feels like it most days. I feel that she is my enemy, but the reality is that she needs Jesus just like I did before I knew Him.

God says not to rejoice over our enemies' trouble. Proverbs 24 says, "…16For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble in time of calamity. 17Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; 18Or the LORD will see it and be displeased, And turn His anger away from him.…" Proverbs 17:5 says, "Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished."

We are FORBIDDEN from taking pleasure in the troubles of an enemy. I see warning after warning in scripture against vindictiveness of any kind. In fact, we're commanded to LOVE OUR ENEMIES. Well I guess I can't dance, then, if I'm supposed to love her. Ladies, I'm struggling with this right now, and the Lord has put it on my heart to share it with all of you. I don't know why, really--maybe you're feeling some of the same things.

God's ways aren't our ways, and thankfully He gives us clear direction in this area. His ways are perfect, so I'm gonna do my darnedest to try to obey this one.

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