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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
I'm wading through the murky waters of divorce after mulitple years of "praying and staying" when a friend invites me to a conference for women. I accept (reluctantly).
On the last day we arrive to pink envelopes thoughtfully placed on our seats. Each envelop contains a Scripture . . . a "timely word from the Lord," if you will. I'm afraid to open my envelope. I'm afraid because these days I prefer swear words over ten-week Bible studies. I fear my "word" will be something along the lines of: Repent! Repent! Wicked and swearing sinner!
I take my ticking bomb to the ladies room, shut myself inside a stall, and pray: Lord, please don't hurt me. I'm fragile. I need a kind word even though I probably don't deserve one. Only You know how many times I've said the F-word since I read the phone bill and, well, You know. Amen.
I peel back my envelope hoping the fragments of my heart won't be blown into bits so tiny they are no longer visiable to the naked eye.
Renounce your sins by doing what is right,
and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed.
It may be that your prosperity will continue.
Daniel 4: 27 NIV
Me to God: Um. I was kind of hoping I wouldn't get a scripture like this one because I'm spiraling into despair--Holy Writ in hand.
God to me: If I was your earthly father, Wendy, I'd hold your sweet hands and ask: Why do you allow him to treat you this way? Why? Abuse is not my will.
Talk about a Daddy-daughter moment. He loves and sees and hears me in my circumstances. He wants me to repent; to renounce my tolerance of the abuse and betrayal I've tolerated for years in the very home I've tried so hard to make a haven. To extend some long over-due kindness to the oppressed, present company included!
Daniel 4: 27 brought to light my distorted view of the Father's heart toward His daughters. In less than five minutes--and from a bathroom stall, Love redeems a skewed and unloving perception of a Bible verse I could only see through the lens of guilt and shame. Wow.
I think of Matthew 18:12. If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills in the conference and go out and search for the one that is lost hiding in a bathroom stall?
Prayer: Jesus, You alone know what we need to see differently. May the lens with which we perceive your written word always be interpreted through Your mery and love.
You are not alone,
Published on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 @ 5:32 AM CDT