**But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, but now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.** Philippians 4:10
Let’s take another look at this verse, with our marriage in mind (or any other important relationship.)
–God has made me so happy, because we have a fresh start, because I was so worried about our relationship, and I just didn’t know how to fix things. –My version
Our God is the God of Second Chances. Mercy and Grace flow from his being, giving us the opportunity to try again. He’s constantly extending his hand to us in hopes that we will grab it and allow him to lead us in a better direction. Especially in how we deal with people.
I believe the verse is telling us that if we make a truly focused, energetic effort, and get a little creative, deciding to love on purpose, we can restore most relationships. We just have to look for the opportunity to try.
It would be great if in every relationship both parties gave 100%. The reality is that many times one person is giving less than 50% and another is giving 150%. But someone has to decide they are going to be the one to create momentum in a relationship. Complacency does not move mountains.
In this verse, Paul is talking to the Philippians about their desire to reach out and be a help to him. They appreciated all that Paul had done for them when he ministered there in Phillipi. Maybe there were hindrances, maybe they just didn’t understand how to get to him, maybe there were complications or obstacles that just made it too difficult to share their hearts and lives with Paul again.
That’s why I think this verse can be applied to our relationships. We all have someone in our lives that we’ve allowed our relationship with them to grow cold. Maybe we are taking them for granted. Maybe we’ve gotten bored by a monotonous routine. Maybe one of us is sensitive and the other one is insensitive, creating constant friction. But something has put up a barrier between us and someone else. I believe it’s our job to take the initiative to restore any broken relationship. It takes some wisdom and discernment, but I believe reconciliation is always the goal.
There are very few people in the world who wake up in the morning looking to hurt another person. Our human, flawed state just creates situations to bring out the worst in us. Sometimes it’s our fault. Sometimes we are the victim. But sooner or later everyone of us inflicts hurt on another person. Most of the time it is unintentional, and we want that person to forgive us, give us another chance, and not build a wall between us.
This happens dozens of times a day between a man and a woman. I have lost count of how many times my husband has said something and I have taken it completely the wrong way, or vice versa. Miscommunication causes the majority of all disagreements.
**….Now at the last your care of me has flourished again…**
Any day is a good day to try again. Let’s all take some time to think about someone in our lives who is important to us, that we have a relationship with that has grown distant and empty.
Let’s ask God to help us to find some new, creative ways and opportunities to reach out to that person, to restore the connection that we had with them. It won’t happen overnight. We are going to need patience. And we are going to have to show the same mercy and grace that God shows to us every day. We don’t always respond the right way the first time. Let’s not expect it of others. But let’s give it a try. With time I think you will be amazed at what God can do with a willing, teachable heart.
And each of us will be able to ** rejoice in the Lord greatly** with what He has done.