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God Gives Lessons Over and Over: Learn the First Time

God Gives Lessons Over and Over: Learn the First Time

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. — Proverbs 1:5

In my first job out of college, one of the people I worked with drove me crazy. He pushed my buttons and hurt my feelings and twisted my words, and I couldn’t get past it. After months and months, my genius boss Greg said, “You’re not crazy. You’re not making this stuff up. He’s a difficult person to work with.” I exhaled, vindicated, feeling like a deeply discerning person.

But then Greg said, “You’re not wrong about this guy, but why does it bother you so much? Why does his way of being make you so crazy?”

Then he added: “It’s okay if you don’t know now. You’ll have plenty of chances to figure it out, because when someone or something taps into your deep emotion like that, God will keep sending that same kind of person or situation into your life over and over until you choose to do the work of understanding it and growing past it.”

It’s absolutely true. You can learn it the first time, or you’ll find that same situation staring you in the face over and over again. There it is, an opportunity to grow, to transcend and transform, to break that terrible pattern.

When something provokes in us a reaction that’s out of proportion, that’s often a sign there’s a lesson for us to learn and a way for us to grow.

Is there a person or situation in your life right now that might represent an opportunity to grow?

Savor Recipe: Spicy Peanut Noodles

I can’t get enough of these, and I have a jar of this sriracha-spiked peanut sauce in my refrigerator basically all the time. Feel free to nudge it in the salad direction: shredded carrots and cabbage, cucumbers cut into sticks, slivers of red pepper. Adding a handful of roasted shredded chicken makes it a meal.

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup hot water
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked
  • 1⁄2 cup crushed peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced


Combine peanut butter, sriracha, lime juice, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Stir in hot water to thin the sauce.

Toss the sauce with the cooked spaghetti. Garnish with crushed peanuts, black sesame seeds, cilantro, and scallions. Serve immediately or chill in the the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Excerpted with permission from Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist, copyright Zondervan.

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Your Turn

What situation on person is making you feel crazy, stressed, triggered, or overly angry right now? Why? Seek wisdom from God today on how to handle that circumstance or relationship differently so you can grow and learn now instead of having to repeat the lesson! Come join the conversation on our blog. We would love to hear how you are doing the work of understanding, changing the way you handle difficulty, and growing in wisdom from the Lord! ~ Devotionals Daily