On 3/20/2021 the Lord gave me a vision of a man trying to crack a nut by putting it into an indentation on the ground and hitting it with something. While I watched this occur, the phrase “A HARD NUT TO CRACK” rose up in my spirit. End of vision.
So the next morning I looked up the phrase “a hard nut to crack”. It means either a problem that is very difficult to solve. Or, it can mean someone who is difficult to understand or get close to or get to know.
I knew immediately that the Lord wanted me to write about the time that I was challenged by a new boss at work, who I will call Peggy (not her real name). I think the best way to describe her would be to say that she reminded me of the Lilith Sternin character on the TV show Cheers, played by actress Bebe Neuwirth. Peggy, like Lilith, did not show very much emotion, seldom smiled and had an almost cold demeanor. She was all business all of the time. She was quick to criticize and slow to encourage. She had an edge to her and when she spoke to others, it was a bit harsh. Immediately I felt an almost palpable tension in the air between us.
One day she called me into her office to give her an update on my current projects. She had also invited another manager, who I will call Tina (not her real name) to join us. Now Tina, who was actually hired at the same time as I was, had just been promoted to her new managerial position. So in my mind Tina was actually my peer, even though she was now technically a manager.
So there I was presenting my status report to them. At one point I happened to glance up midsentence and I caught Peggy doing an eye roll over my statement to Tina. I tried my best to not react, but honestly it hurt a lot. So not only was Peggy expressing her disapproval of me, but she was also broadcasting it to someone who I considered a peer.
Then the day came for my annual review. So Peggy and I met in a conference room to go over my evaluation. She gave me high marks on my actual work but when it came to my social skills, well let’s just say she saw areas that needed improvement. Then she started listing all my deficiencies.
When she finally stopped to take a breath, I said “You know this all sounds very personal. I get the feeling that you just don’t like me very much.” Then I couldn’t help it – I started crying. She said “I feel exactly the same way.” Then the most amazing thing happened – she started crying too!
I just couldn’t believe it. My stoic boss was actually crying big crocodile tears right in front of me. So we both sat there bawling our eyes out for a few minutes.
Suddenly the emotional wall between us came crashing down and we had a heart to heart talk. For the first time, I saw her as a person who actually cared about me and the other employees, but she just did not know how to show it. She even confided that she really did want only the best for me and I believed her. Maybe, just maybe, I had misjudged her and she had misjudged me.
I wish I could tell you that from that day forward Peggy became caring and empathetic. But no, that did not happen. The very next day she reverted back to the way she had always been. But, something very important did happen – not to her, but to me. My heart changed towards her and the whole situation.
The next day when she spoke harshly to me, I remembered her big crocodile tears. I remembered that she was really a soft touch on the inside. Suddenly her words didn’t hurt me anymore. So instead of taking her comment personally, I just smiled at her.
From that point on, our relationship improved drastically. And all that palpable tension in the air dissipated. She even promoted me. So here I thought Peggy was the problem, but it turned out the problem was how I was responding to my difficult situation.
Peggy taught me a very important lesson, namely that we really cannot know the heart of another person. Only God knows their heart. And sometimes what people show the world is not what they are truly like inside.
JOHN 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
MATTHEW 7:1 Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you again.
MATTHEW 7:3 And why behold you the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye? 4Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull the speck out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the speck out of your brother’s eye.
2 CHRONICLES 6:30 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men),
1 SAMUEL 16:6 So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!” 7But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Author: Dana R
The Lord began drawing Dana to Him about six months before she was saved. By January of 2015, the urgency to make a decision about God was so strong, that it was all she could think about, but she was clueless how to even get saved. One day in her bedroom, she cried out to God telling him she really wanted to be saved, but she didn’t know how. Then she had the thought, maybe she could Google it. And that’s what she did. She found instructions on the Internet and said the Salvation prayer out loud.
In 2017 the Lord led her 600 miles away from her family, friends and home to a place she had never been and did not want to go – Missouri. Then in April of 2019 the Lord gave her a vision of a woman sitting at a desk, writing on paper. That’s when she knew He wanted her to write, but what on earth could she possibly write about? Then in July of 2020 the Lord gave her a vision of an eyebrow pencil outlining a woman’s eye. She interpreted that to mean “I OUTLINE”. And that is exactly what He did. And that’s how the Lord got her to pick up her pen.