I will restore David’s fallen shelter . . . so that they may possess . . . all the nations that bear my name. (Amos 9:11–12)
You want me to partner with her?! I didn’t say it out loud, but coach read my expression loud and clear. Angie was known for cheating during games and gossiping about teammates whose position she craved. Now coach wanted me to be her doubles partner. I had a difficult choice to make—learn to get along with Angie or miss out playing tennis.
Finally, Amos offered the Israelites hope. Although their nation would be punished, God would save a remnant of his people to rebuild Israel with. However, God would not restore Israel to the former glory they knew and longed for. Instead, God would build a kingdom out of a remnant of Israelites and God-fearing people from the nations they hated. Amos left the Israelites with a choice: accept into your land God’s people from enemy nations or miss out on being in God’s kingdom.
I wish I could say Angie and I became best friends and went on to become state champs. Truthfully, I was relieved when coach later paired me with someone else. But I did learn that you can’t win by rejecting others. Obtaining God’s best requires loving our neighbors, including those we least like. While many of us pray for our nation’s revival, we need to be ready to accept the people God brings into our lives and land so they can freely worship him.
Prepare to welcome any neighbors God brings to you.
Tamar Eisenmann and her husband are Wesleyan pastors from Michigan. She’s a Wesley Seminary doctoral student and a fan of Transformers, her kids, and Jesus.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.