Hurt

Once again, I recently noticed a precious quote that I wrote in my 2020 journal during a time of need.  This is what God gave me at that time, to speak to the specific situation I found myself in.  He is so very, very faithful and present, always!

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.  — Romans 12:21 [NLT]

Have you been abused?  Have you been hurt by a dear friend?  Have you been framed by another for his wrongdoing?  As much as you try to move on are you still plagued by pain or resentment?  How do you forgive these deepest cuts, especially when the transgressor refuses to admit their deeds?  

Study:  Matthew 6:5-15; 7:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35; Romans 12:9-21

Contemplate:  God, what is forgiveness?

  • Is it unilateral patience and love from me to another?
  • Is it a form of absolution by operation of Your grace that is greater than the sum or repentance from one, and love from the other?
  • Must a transgressor repent his deeds before his neighbor can forgive him?
  • Is forgiveness a blessing that we are duty bound to confer upon our neighbor?
  • Or is forgiveness a blessing unto ourselves to heal the pain that we feel?
  • How do I let go of my pain?
  • How do I look assailants in the eye?
  • How do I forgive them?

Prayer:  Gracious Father, as I long to fulfill the Golden Rule please give me Your grace that I need to forgive my deepest cuts and please watch over my neighbors so that we may live together in harmony as much as we are able.  — Name Withheld

Holy Questions–2014 Lenten Devotional Book, Trinity United Methodist Church, Denver, CO

 

Wind

Here are some quotes that were in my morning devotions after a long, windy night.  Wind doesn’t normally keep me awake, but this night I had struggled.  I was so thankful to hear God’s word to me for this very situation!

I do not really believe He rides an angel like a horse or that the winds truly have wings but I do believe that He is swiftly able to control, not only my troubled heart, but also my troubled world whenever and however He wills.  There are not winds that will blow upon me that are not the winds of His will.  Next time you hear the wind rustling the leaves or whirling around the eaves, listen awhile.  God has come to remind you that He is present — slow to anger, swift to hear, and sure to bless!  — Jill Briscoe, The One Year Book of Bible Devotions for Women

So be truly glad there is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.  These trials will show that your faith is genuine.  It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold — though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.  So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Chris is revealed to the whole world.  — 1 Peter 1:6-7 [NLT]

High Tower

Here are some quotes from my 2020 journal:

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.  — Psalm 34:18 [NLT]

“A broken heart may feel only its brokenness, not His nearness.  It’s what we know of God, not what we feel of Him, that brings His healing presence to our damaged lives.  — Jill Briscoe, The One Year Book of Devotions for Women

Our lives are full of supposes.  Suppose this should happen, or suppose that should happen; what could we do, how could we bear it?  But, if we are living in the high tower of the dwelling place of God, all these supposes will drop out of our lives.  We shall be quiet from the fear of evil, for no threatenings of evil can penetrate into the high tower of God.  — Hannah Whitall Smith

I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on Him.  I have put my hope in His Word.  — Psalm 130:5 [NLT]

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  — Colossians 3:15 (sent from a formerly sponsored child, Michael, in Indonesia, on a day that I really needed it!  2/18/20)

God uses rainy days to sprinkle us with His showers and affection, and drench us in His love and comfort.  — Charles R. Swindoll

 

 

Every Dagger a Scepter

This week I’ve been posting about times when someone purposely lashes out at you on social media with intentions to hurt, criticize and shame.  It happens to all of us, I’m sure.  I’ve learned to remain silent rather than responding immediately to the hurtful words.  Then, as I recover from the hurt, I notice in daily devotions that God is speaking specifically to that pain.  Here is an example of a quote God gave me following such a painful verbal attack:

In the mid-16th century the missionary Francis Xavier (1506-1552), wrote to Father Perez of Malacca (today part of Malaysia) about the perils of his mission to China.  He said, “The danger of all dangers would be to lose trust and confidence in the mercy of God…To distrust Him would be a far more terrible thing than any physical evil which all the enemies of God put together could inflict on us, for without God’s permission neither the devils nor their human ministers could hinder us in the slightest degree.” The greatest missionary danger a missionary faces is not death but to distrust the mercy of God.  If that danger is avoided, then all other dangers lose their sting.  In the end God makes every dagger a scepter in our hand…Christ escaped this danger, the danger of distrusting God.  Therefore God has highly exalted Him!  As He, so you…the greatest danger is distrusting God’s mercy.  Succumb to this and all is lost.  Conquer here and nothing can harm you for a million ages.  

— John Piper

Isn’t that amazing? There are far worse things than being socially or publicly disgrace, misunderstood, hurt, criticized, opposed! Far worse might be your impulsive, hurting response to that person, or damaging the image of Christ visible in you, or harboring anger or resentment, or — danger of all dangers — mistrusting God in the midst of your hurt. Let these moments (these “daggers” become a “scepter in the hand” — a scepter of love, kindness, forbearance, forgiveness, even silence when necessary!

Knockdowns

In my previous post, I spoke about a time someone lashed out in a Facebook conversation in a way that was intended to hurt, criticize and shame. For several days after that incident, God continued giving me words of encouragement, such as the quotes listed below. It’s absolutely beautiful how much He cares, understands, and truly meets our needs in times such as this!

Nothing in creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the one to whom we are accountable. — Hebrews 4:13 [NLT]

People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.  — I Samuel 16:7 [NLT]

The knockdowns have changed my life for the better.  They’ve caused me to reassess what my life was all about, where it was heading and to shift from self-centered motivation to being driven by love…love of God and love of others.  — Jimmy Mellado

But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies!  Do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you.  Pray for those who hurt you…Do to others as you would have them to do to you.  Luke 6:27-28, 31 [NLT]

As I considered the words that had so impulsively been thrown out for all the world to see on social media, I was thankful that God stopped me before I lashed back.  He quieted my soul, turned my thoughts towards prayer for the other person (rather than curses), and gave me peace.  He continued to speak that peace to me several days, knowing that it would hurt for a long time, but in the end, that I would come out healed and whole!

Social Media Attack

I was reading some of the quotes in one of my journals as I walked along the creek recently.  I was reminded of a time when someone impulsively responded to a Facebook post in a way that was meant to criticize, demean, and shame.  At the time, I’d decided not to respond quickly (as the other person appeared to have done), and instead to remain silent, and choose to forgive.  What was beautiful about that, though, was that the very next time I sat down to read God’s Word, He spoke very clearly about that incident to me.  He is personal.  He understands.  He cares.

Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.  — Proverbs 10:12 [NLT]

“Is there within [her] a stubborn spirit that causes [her] to rebel, argue, and fight back, even though it’s against His leading?  Has [she] developed the deceitful technique of hiding…obedience behind the human masks of lies or rationalization or manipulation or blame…like Saul?  — Charles R. Swindoll

Get rid of all rage, anger, harsh words, slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.  — Ephesians 4:31-32 [NLT]

If I am able to worst my opponents in argument so as to make fools of them, and have not love, I am nothing…If I can heal all manner of sickness and disease, but wound hearts and hurt feelings for want of love that is kind, I am nothing.  — Charles R. Swindoll quoting an excerpt from a returning missionary

Hearing these personal and timely words from God were far more precious than any rebuttal, insult, or “getting the last word in” could ever have been to me!  It’s so much better to remain silent sometimes, and let those malicious words and hurt feelings go!

Down from Mosier Gulch

These photos are another hike along Clear Creek, this time starting at Mosier Gulch. Usually I hike up from Buffalo to Mosier Gulch and back down, but I wanted a shorter hike this day. Chris was in town, so he rode down on his bike (I’ve done that, too, but it’s terrifying for me!). I’m not crazy about riding over rocks and tree roots! But it was another beautiful day in the mountains.