Eph 2:3-5 (NIV) ...Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.
My husband and I have been working with a young man over the last year. He is like the family assistant who runs errands and does what needs to be done when we are unable to pull ourselves from what we have to do. This man has entered our home, played with our daughter who is absolutely enamored with him by the way. He has traveled with us and been on the craziest journeys just to hand over a tit-bit of paper to us. And we have ben grateful in spirit, in kind and in hard cash. We thanked God for this young man’s loyalty and faithfulness. We thanked God for his obedience and trustworthiness.
Recently, we became aware that he had been a ‘some-what’ criminal in his past life and some of his shortcomings had come back to haunt him. There is always consequence to our sinful nature. Needless to say, he called out to us and we bailed him out and we did. (in retrospect, he probably called out to God and God called us). I swear for a long time after that-I had a Jesus complex; thinking since we had saved him, he owed us even more in the belief that the more someone is forgiven; the more love and loyalty they will have for you. As we do with God-the greater sins He has forgiven us, the more we love and honor Him. I forgot I wasn’t God. And this fellow owed my family nothing, zilch. We hadn’t bought twenty years of his life with what we had done. We had been obedient to God and done what we had to do but the glory belonged to the Lord and that is where his debt was cancelled.
Recently, he betrayed us with lies and theft and the old run around. I wanted to skin him alive and expose his innards to the crows and then watch him beg for his life. I wanted that Law and Order type of justice inflicted on him. I couldn’t do it myself and I thought my husband would. So inside, I waited for his demise but it never came. Instead all I got was ‘I will handle it’. This was not an episode of Scandal! But I waited for the ‘handling’ until I couldn’t anymore and I concocted to bring this young fellow down to size with my own words. I wrote a long text message fully expressing my wrath and what type of punishment God would inflict on Him and I sent it…………….to my husband for spell check. LSS, he told me to leave it alone and ‘he would deal with it’.
My heart ached. I felt the energy fuelled by my anger leave my body. All I wanted to do was cry! And cry! I bought a few tracks from Itunes that I expected would have enough bass to push me out of this mood. I turned to Christian podcasts to help me out of this sad hole that I had obviously dug for someone else. The hole of shame and disdain and I was its only occupant!
I learned a few things today- when God says I will deal with it and that He is the judge-He truly will and He truly is. I am nowhere near the courts and I cannot even make a recommendation. God is wise enough to know what to do about his children. I must leave His children to Him. I must let go.
The second thing is- I don’t’ always like the idea that God is merciful and gracious to ‘other people’ and sometimes that is why I hang on to my anger because then I can exact my wrath on them before God extends His mercy. And that is why I refuse to let go and let God. Because I know God is ‘nice and forgiving’ since He once extended His goodness to me too. Yes, God is the great restorer and healer.
This young man inherited some definite flaws which God revealed to us before and allowed us to bail him out. I have to remember his need for restoration before I remember my need for revenge.
I learned that I must trust my husband and submit to him. If I learn to do this, it will make it easier to submit to God.
The stories of Joseph and Jacob being deceived and getting over it are an amazing inspiration to me. These guys are heroes! We are created for such a time as this and God will lead us out of hard situations that others put us in and take us toward higher ground. He works it for the good of all those who love Him. I pray I love Him more for all our sakes.
I must be wise enough not to be deceived anymore and I must know that there are people who will choose darkness over light and it is good to weep for their souls and pray for them. And forgive them. And hand them over to the Lord.
I would like to acknowledge Ps Doery's podcast on ‘5 things God uses to put iron in your soul’ and the Bible Study Guide ‘Have you been deceived?’ article. And God…..He is a great restorer and He has made the impossible, possible, through His unending mercy.