I am not a whiner, & therefore I will not whine about the difficulties that have come into my life over the past 3-4 weeks. I shared some of them with you a while back. Some of those things were resolved & then others took their place. A friend likened them to a cloud hanging over me. I thought that was a good description.
The things I experienced during this 3-4 week time frame were, of course, nothing compared to the problems that others experience. Still, they were tiresome, bothersome, annoying, inconvenient, &/or painful. The painful situation was the most difficult for me. It involved another person. Not a friend, but someone others think of very highly. This person, a professing Christian, betrayed my trust. When I told this person how disappointed I was in what they had done, their reaction was far from Christlike. I was made to feel like the bad guy when I was the person who had been wronged!
I felt physically sick & very discouraged. I immersed myself in prayer & reading God's Word, & God answered me in my distress. Five times! The first word I received from Him was in a devotional reading one morning. The reading focused on Philippians 2:3 ...
"Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy end] or prompted by conceit or empty arrogance. Instead, in a true spirit of humility [lowliness of mind] let each regard the others as better than & superior to himself."
The reading talked about being obedient to the Holy Spirit, forgiving quickly & frequently, & how we must be generous in our mercy & patience.
That same morning I also received a word via a Christian radio station. Their "thought for the day" was Proverbs 23:7 ...
"As a man thinks in his heart, so is he."
The voice on the radio talked about taking captive every thought & making it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) ... a scripture I had been focusing on for quite some time!
Again that same morning, while I was praying, God spoke directly to my spirit & said "Don't let another person steal your joy." I realized at that moment that that was exactly what I had been doing ... allowing this person to steal my joy. Why was I giving this person such power when I had the power of the Living God on my side?!?!?
Later that same day, I was referred to an online devotional by a friend ... the subject being Romans 8:18 ...
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
It is said that God speaks to us in a still, small voice. I often tell Him that He knows how dense I am, & that when He wants to speak to me He needs to use a great, loud voice. Well, these four words were, in essence, given to me in a great, loud voice! There was no denying that He was answering my prayers ... that He was telling me how to get through this particular situation.
As if His help up to this point wasn't enough, a few days ago I was re-reading one of my favorite psalms, Psalm 103, & when I got to verse 10, I immediately stopped.
"he does not treat us as our sins deserve,
or repay us according to our iniquities."
I must admit that, on occasion, a little nagging voice told me that this person should somehow have to pay for what they did to me. I couldn't tell you the number of times I have read this Psalm, but verse 10 never jumped out at me like it did in this reading. I immediately thought about how we are supposed to be like Christ ... & how Christ modeled Himself after His Father ... & how if God does not treat me as my sins deserve, or repay me for the things I have done ... then how could I have such thoughts against someone? I know I'm "only human," but through His strength I am able to do anything (Philippians 4:13).
This person's betrayal of my trust was devastating, but it ... combined with all the other raindrops this cloud brought into my life these weeks ... brought me even closer to God, & for that I can thank Him, & for that I can praise Him, & for that I can love Him even more.