Today is the day after Thanksgiving. My guess is that some of you had at least one difficult or unpleasant conversation. So, I think today is a great day to talk about frustrations and misunderstandings. To start things off, here is an actual, personal experience.

One morning, unusually for me, I sat down beside my wife on the edge of our bed as she was getting dressed, and said, “Good morning.”

Suspicious of this atypical behavior, since I usually am up early and busy by the time she gets going in the mornings, she asked warily, “What do you want?!”

My random gesture suddenly bloomed into confusion and an issue for us both.

Not being understood is a first order source of problems for projects, business initiatives, and, as you can see, relationships. Being understood is difficult and a continuous source of frustration that is not easily resolved. Jesus was very familiar with these disconnects. Christ’s own mother didn’t understand Jesus. We read this in:

Luke 2: (NIV)
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?
50 “But they did not understand what he was saying to them.”

This was a characteristic throughout his entire earthly ministry. People simply didn’t understand, even his apostles with whom He invested so much time and energy continually didn’t understand Him. We read in Mark 9:32, “But they [the apostles] did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.”

Effective communication is difficult and often takes a tremendous effort on our part. However, if we persevere God has given us the great promise that there’s a time of rest for us, even if now our ability to be understood is exhausting. Please remember that it’s worth the effort. Here’s one of God’s promises to us:

Hebrews 4:9-11 (NIV)
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.
9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;
10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.
11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

Therefore, I close with this benediction for you.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (KJV)
Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

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