Tag Archives: Forgiveness

Never Losing The Light: Bearing With Injustice

Sweet Heart, I know—their injustice.

(I know.)

Never mind, trust Me.

I told you I will deal with your enemies.

Don’t you believe this?

I know, you want relief.

Come to Me for that. Relief is not in the absence of conflict. It is in the presence of your Master. Come child. Come… your enemies? They will soon scatter, like cockroaches when someone turns on a light. They will scurry and scatter back to the dark corners they crawled from.

(They don’t like The Light!)

Stay focused.

It’s important.

You are doing a great work and cannot come down.

Never Losing the LightYour enemies will always try to get you to “come down” to their level. They know if they can take your focus from what you are doing, the work will stop.

Don’t you see?

That’s the goal.

Come, I want you to outgrow this childish desire to answer every bully’s remark. Many of these remarks are not worthy of attention, or answer. They rob you of precious time and gift.

Child, focus.

The battle is mine beloved.

I need you to spend your precious energy doing My will, not your enemy’s.

Ripples of hope“… those who rob you shall be robbed; and those attacking you shall be attacked.” Jeremiah 30:16Jeremiah 30:16
English: World English Bible - WEB

16 Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; and all your adversaries, everyone of them, shall go into captivity; and those who despoil you shall be a spoil, and all who prey on you will I give for a prey.

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Never Losing the Light: Enemies and Pharisees

I am glad you are getting used to having enemies.

I wish there was no jealousy in my church—but you know better by now.

Come, be of good cheer. Don’t become down and discouraged by what you see others surrendering to.

Choice—they have made theirs—make yours.

I have broken your shackles of people-pleasing.

Don’t tell Me you are going to return to that bondage?

Child, jealousy is a fact of life—like gravity. Some will always find it easier to attack what another is doing (or not doing) rather than face themselves—and what needs to change.

Did I not have Pharisees?

Jesus & the PhariseesDidn’t they hound Me and haunt every place I went?

Are you above your Master?

(Child, listen.)

I’ll say it again.

Pray for your enemies.

Love them.

(I know it’s hard.)

Do it anyway!

Do it because you know it is the only way to stay free.

(The enemy of your soul knows.)

He would love to throw you into his dungeon of bitterness and resentment.

Enemies and Pharisees

If you could hear the wailing that flows from that place?

You would never again hesitate to forgive.

Just do it.

Your peace will return.

(I’ll deal with those who decide to be your enemy.)

Philip Yancey quote“But in that coming day, all who are destroying you shall be destroyed, and all your enemies shall be slaves…”

Jeremiah 30:16Jeremiah 30:16
English: World English Bible - WEB

16 Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; and all your adversaries, everyone of them, shall go into captivity; and those who despoil you shall be a spoil, and all who prey on you will I give for a prey.

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The Warrior

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Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? Song of Solomon 8:5

(verse 1)
Oh, Abba! What words can I write
To sing new songs of sweetest praise?
To tell of victories in the night
And how a victor’s shout is raised?

Who is this? Her brow so bloodied?
Coming out of desert grim?
What has happened to this warrior?
Who will hear her soldier’s hymn?

(chorus)

Soft she sings—as hard she leans
Her Savior only strength and shield
From darkest battle’s she has gleaned
Truth, that Freedom’s sword will yield,

Only when the battle’s over!
Only when the victory’s won!
A warrior never quits, or surrenders,
‘Til Father whispers, “It is done!”

(verse 2)

Not ’til then can sword be rested
Not ’til victory has been found
Not ’til soldiers metal tested
And enemy’s surrendered Holy ground!

She turns and lifts her sword now skyward
To honor her Father’s Holy Word
Remembering day when He first called her
Broken Vessel—so absurd!

(verse 3)
And now scarred lips and heart once broken
Gladly she lays at nail-scarred feet
Here to sing! Her Victor’s token!
Her song declares—enemy’s defeat!

She raises voice in song of praise
To tell of desert battles won!
Her sword surrendered at His feet
A Freedom Fighter she’s become!

 

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Beloved Prodigal… (Part 2 ~ Resume)

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A WOUND DRESSER’S RESUME


Can you believe it?

I actually asked God to make me a Wound Dresser.

Man!

What was I thinking?

My prayer seemed so spiritual at the time.

I smile and shake my head today—remembering. Little did I understand the mountain of “woundings” that would come with God’s “Yes.” And, this roller coaster… this assignment of His!

QUALIFICATIONS AND PREPARATIONS FOR A WOUNDRESSER:

You know that cute little question, “Got milk?”

Yeah, well my question to you goes like this:

  • “Got a painful past?” or maybe,
  • “Got a trail of tears and broken dreams?”
  • Or, “Got so much guilt and shame you hate the mess you see in the mirror?”

Congratulations, you too, have all the qualities and experience required to be called as a woundresser!

My “prep” for this Calling:

  • I asked Jesus into my heart at seven while at a Christian summer camp.
  • That was the year my mother “bailed” on our family, announcing that she would no longer be responsible for being a wife, or mother.
  • For me, childhood was over. At seven I began my job as the female caregiver of the family.
  • Five years earlier My mother had had an affair with the pastor of our church and gotten pregnant by him.
  • Our family put on a good public face, still went to church, but we were very BROKEN from that point on.
  • Mom simply stated to me years later, “No forgiveness ever asked for. No forgiveness was ever given.”
  • Dad regularly reminded all of us, he would also be “bailing” just as soon as the youngest was done with school.
  • Meanwhile, we lived with their daily battles, and constant threats of abandonment, from the only one, doing any parenting.
  • Like I said in an earlier devotional, I have lived with angry people all of my life. Angry was my normal.
  • Grew up in a fire-breathing church, where I heard about hell and the anger of God, but little about His love.
  • God is just like your angry father… okay, check.
  • Shook the hometown dust off my shoes and went down the prodigal road.
  • I believed God was “out there” somewhere—but He sure didn’t care what happened to me.
  • If my father, who I could see didn’t care, why would a God I couldn’t see care? Check.
  • Lived a wild life for ten years doing my own thing and I’ve got the scars to prove it!
  • There were several car crashes I miraculously walked away from.
  • Years of ongoing depression episodes that had me thinking suicide was my only option for relief.
  • (Yes, you’re right. Some drown. Some are rescued. I don’t know why. Two of my cousins took their own lives.)
  • I, too, have had years of prescriptions for tranquilizers and muscle relaxers looking for any relief.
  • More years trying to drown all the pain in alcohol. I felt like I was the one drowning. But the pain? Lived on.
  • I won’t even go into all the “joys” of living as a “liberated” woman. What a lie that was!
  • At twenty-eight, after another night of heavy drinking, I awoke to find I had passed out leaving candles burning and almost set my place on fire.
  • Realized I could have set the building on fire and hurt a lot of innocent people in the process.
  • This is where I hit the bottom.
  • I made a “private plan” to end my life and be “done” because I saw no hope—anywhere.
  • I grew up in “church”; saw the hypocrisy; wanted no part of that again.
  • I simply wanted my pain to end. If it meant ending me—so be it.

God, however, had another plan.

Like the Apostle Paul, I had my own Damascus Road encounter with God. (See Coram Deo)

He showed up.

I believe, He showed up because He saw one beleaguered girl, searching for love in all the wrong places.

He showed up because He knew I didn’t have a clue about who He really was.

And He showed up because He knew I wasn’t going to come to Him.

In short this prodigal had to be—fetched.

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I didn’t come to my senses like in the story of the prodigal son. [Luke 15] Nope.

In my story, I am like that lost sheep.

The one where Jesus tells of leaving the ninety-and-nine “good” sheep, to go out and rescue the one who has wandered away.

God had to come after me because, just like Paul, I was so sure I knew who God was.

And, just like His Apostle I was certain—God didn’t care where I was, or what I did. So He decided to show up that day and introduce Himself. He barged in on all my “certainty” and shook me up so profoundly, I couldn’t ignore Him anymore even though secretly? I think I still wanted to.

ed22d31b128a5597c4b7d22c5a215a34Instead, He tenderly took this battered old heart of mine and began to teach me about His deep and abiding LOVE for me.

And, wonder of wonders, He also began to reveal how He wanted to take all the broken pieces of my life and use them.

Use them? My life. (It still stuns me!) How could a Holy God use such an unholy mess like me? When I looked at my past I saw only a junkyard—full of broken, wrecked, dreams. But when God looked at me… He saw potential for His purposes.

His Love is mercy wrapped in GRACE—and it is SO undeserved.

And, so amazing!

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For Judas and The Thief

“…What shall I do with this man you call your King?”

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

Mark 15:12-13Mark 15:12-13
English: World English Bible - WEB

12 Pilate again asked them, “What then should I do to him whom you call the King of the Jews?” 13 They cried out again, “Crucify him!”

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My enemy came to me today,

I wanted to turn and walk away!

“Who does he think he is?” I said.

A Voice, from deep within me, pled…

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“He is another for whom I’ve died,

Like you, he’s stolen, cheated, lied;

Yet what you two must understand,

Is for your sins, they pierced My hands…

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The BOTH of you, are dear to Me.

Oh, child of Mine, why can’t you see?

That what you think is “Ministry”

Is really PRIDE – it isn’t ME!

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I want you two to listen well…

Perhaps the others you will tell;

I have no enemies – none at all!

And if you’ll listen to My call…

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I’ll take you where no pride can grow;

You’ll have to kneel and bend quite low;

With basin, towel, and love anew,

You’ll wash the feet of those who threw…

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The stones that made your poor heart bleed;

You’ll find new ways to meet their needs.

And when you’re tempted to forget,

You’ll remember that your needs were met…

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By One who laid beneath your stones,

With bleeding wounds and broken bones

Yet harkened to his Master’s Voice,

Renounced his fear and made the choice;

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To look not on the things you’d done

But offer up the gift he’s won,

Of mercy from a brand new heart…

I’d given him—he’s done his part.

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And now I turn to look at you,

Like Judas and the thief who threw,

Betrayal and curses into My face

When I had offered loving grace-

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You must decide what you will do

When you are hated by a few

Who still don’t understand or know

I have NO ENEMIES here below…

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Just wounded hearts, in need of love,

That you are called, like One above,

To give away – forget the cost.

For sinful pride, how much is lost!

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A new heart here I have for you

With Mercy, Love, and heaven’s dew—

Of thankfulness for sinner’s blame…

Forgotten Forever—because I came!”

 

 

Comfort My People

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Comfort my people? With what? (I know I’m your kid God but, jimmeny-crickets! Have you seen what’s goin’ on down here?)

How is comfort supposed to flow from such a dry and barren place?

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Besides… they are Your people God. You comfort them!

(I don’t even like most of them.)

Me?

(Oh no, You’re right.)

I don’t like me, either.

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I’ve become like them… mean, bad, and nasty.

Disillusioned and hard, and yes, dry.

This vineyard has destroyed whatever I once had.

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I had such high hopes once.

“Rivers of living water flowing OUT of me…”

That’s what I thought… hoped. Not this.

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Habakkuk’s Vineyard and living water… now THERE’S an oxymoron!

(I guess I just don’t get it.)

Oh, I know what “the crowd” will say…

What the crowd always says, “We told you so!”

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The crowd.

(The mean-bad-n-nasty, you mean.)

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Well let’s see… (Huh? Whadda ya say?)

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I don’t GET it?

(Yeah God, I just said that.)

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(You love them?)

The mean-bad-n-nasty crowd…

You love them?

Why?

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(I TOLD You I don’t get it.)

How can You love them? Me …them!

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I can’t stand to be in the same room with… them.

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(You know that?)

“Comfort them.”

…comfort?

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(How does one comfort The Enemy?)

I’m sorry God. All I have left are questions…

Mean, bad, and nasty questions.

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I’m sorry, I don’t know how to do what You ask.

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(It’s not in me anymore.)

The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:

“Comfort, yes comfort My people! says your God.” Isaiah 40:1Isaiah 40:1
English: World English Bible - WEB

40 1 Comfort you, comfort you my people, says your God.

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The Caterpillar’s Prayer:

I know I’m supposed to forgive my enemies God. (I know.) But I don’t even know where to begin… there’s so much stuff!

So many wounds. (They wanted to destroy me God!) They tried. Oh, how they have tried! Over, and over, and over again, and they almost succeeded God… so many times. (You know. – You saw.)

How do you forgive someone who is dedicated to the task of destroying you?

You know sometimes I feel just like a little kid again. Dad is standing over me telling me to, “Eat my yellow squash.” (I hate yellow squash!) I know it’s good for me… but that doesn’t mean I want to do it! (Yeah… just like forgiveness.)

Jesus help me. I can’t do this on my own. (They hate me so much… they wanted me dead!) It’s there in their eyes… in their deeds. Pure hatred.

So much, I can’t even bear to look at them anymore.

Where do I start Jesus? Where? The cross?

(We always come back to that, don’t we?)

 

Who’s At Fault?

EmilysQuotes_Com-freedom-unknown-experience-weight-release_editedJoseph said to them,

“Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

Oh, so you’re saying the one who put me here is not “the one” I have been blaming.

Hmmn. I have to think about that a minute.

What else?

You’re also remembering that God is:

Omniscient—knows all.
Omnipresent—sees all.
Omnipotent—has all power.

Wow, so captivity is part of God’s plan for good in my life?

(Hmmn, still thinking.)

So you’re saying, that no matter how people mean to do me harm, God will still use all of it for good. Good for me, and good for others.

Okay, so there are some keys to bringing dead things back to life:

⦁ I could stop blaming my captors and try forgiving them?
⦁ I could choose to see God as “all-powerful” not my circumstances?
⦁ I could acknowledge my pain, but surrender it to God’s plan, rather than bury it under all my bitterness.

(That could work!)

Thanks Joseph.

I feel better already.

These “keys” can unlock my peace, joy, and hope, if I’ll just use them?

What’s that you say?

Each day and every day?

Hmmn, ok.

(Is this what they call tough love?)

The DREAM~MAKER’S Promise:

Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” Genesis 50:19-20Genesis 50:19-20
English: World English Bible - WEB

19 Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive.

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A Caterpillar’s Prayer:

Father, often my focus is on what the “others” in my life are doing/not doing; done/haven’t done. It’s so much easier to focus on someone else, instead of putting my focus where it needs to be – on You. Help me look past the injustices in my life. (Even the ones that were meant to destroy me.) Help me to focus instead on You, my Omnipotent Father, who can take every injustice (no matter how dark) and transform it into something that fits into Your Sovereign plan.

Remind me again… NOTHING is too hard for you!