The Lord has told me to preach from the housetops that which He teaches me in the dark (Mt 10:27). He has shown me many truths in my time with Him, my reading of scripture, through my Pastor when he teaches, through discipleship, and through devotionals. Yet, all of that doesn’t seem to be what today’s post is to be.
I have nothing to offer – except that which I have lived and where Christ has revealed Himself to me (and confirmed by scripture).
So today’s post will be about getting hurt and forgiving. Getting hurt by those who love you and forgiving those we love.
We expect to be hurt by our enemies; it is, perhaps, their goal to see our destruction. We are very well aware of this and, therefore, prepare for that ‘battle’ (at least we try to prepare for it) with the love of Christ. We know that we cannot do anything without Christ because unless we abide in Him, we can do nothing. It appears that we understand this somewhat; we seem to grasp this truth for split seconds in our lives.
Yet, when we are hurt by those who love us - and we know that they love us - we seem to be cut deeper than our enemy’s spear. Why? Could it be that we are vulnerable to those who love us and so the wound not only stings, but debilitates our whole being?
While we are told to love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, and bless those who curse us, I seem to ‘process’ healing differently for those who love me (and know the Lord). While I have forgiven my brother or sister when they have wounded me and asked for forgiveness, I feel weak. It may sound crazy, but this weakness is not limited to the spiritual realm, I feel weakness in my soul and body. Why?
I know some would say (as I, too, say): indeed it is because you have not forgiven; you are still holding this individual responsible for your wound - you must let him/her go. But in all honesty, I would and do answer that I have forgiven him or her. I don’t want to withhold forgiveness from those whom I love (and also from those who seek to destroy me); not only because the Lord commands me to do so, but because that is what Christ did for me. This, however, doesn’t make the sting un-sting; this doesn’t make the wound un-wound. Nevertheless, I can say today that the sting is un-stung, the wound is un-wounded.
So what did I learn, with pain (so that it will be etched in my heart and not archived in some folder within my memory), about being wounded by those who love us and forgiving those we love? It is a miracle.
Miracle that being the beast that I am, Christ died for my sins.
Miracle that in this fallen state, we can utter the words: I forgive you.
Miracle that the wounds are healed by God Himself.
Miracle that we don’t inflict more wounds than we already do.
Miracle that we are able to look at pain and forgiveness with God's reason and love.
Miracle that He molds and transforms us to His image through the pain of wounding and the healing of forgiving.
It is all a miracle.
In my view (perhaps not the dictionary’s or a theologian’s view), a miracle is an action, event, feeling, decision, or state that is changed, not by man’s efforts but by God’s hand, from what was its original purpose to a purpose that glorifies God.
So a wound was meant to hurt; the miracle is that the wound is lifted and love is left in its place.
The pain was meant to bring unforgiveness and war; the miracle is that we forgive despite feeling pain and peace overcomes.
The weakness was meant to isolate us from our brothers and sisters and our Father; the miracle is that from the ashes, we rise and come together with our brother or sister to worship our Lord (not by our strength, but by His).
The hand of God moves the hearts of kings, the events in history, the planets and galaxies in the universe. Thank you Holy Spirit for moving our willful hearts to do and conform to the will of the Father. Thank you for emptying these vessels.