First comes anger, then comes hurt, then comes the realization that I have to make a decision… then I cry. Then I remember the burden is not mine… but it still feels like mine… then I cry some more. Will justice be served? On THIS side of heaven? Cry some more… Can I accept it if it’s not? Was all this for nothing?
It comes in waves. One minute I’m strategizing, poking through every argument, outlining every lie. The next minute I’m bawling, and asking why. The betrayal comes back to haunt me… they will do it again, they will get away with it again. My heart can’t take it. When I say “they” in reality, I think I’m referring to Him. Will He allow this to happen again? Again, can I accept this? Justice may not come on this side of Heaven, but He has shaped me through all of it. He has changed me. He has shown me who I am. He has shown me that “I CAN do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Last week I received proof of one more lie. And like in the past, all I can do is cry. I can’t understand why someone would make up something to tear a family apart. To hear (read) things said about me, about my character, from people who knew me for 5 minutes after the harrowing day I’d just had. This revelation in particular really hurt, because I have believed this person’s story for the past 3 years. The truth hurts.
“No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17
“Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.” Romans 8:33
“And be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—“ Philippians 3:9
“For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.” Luke 8:17
“He who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me.” Isaiah 50:8
“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. … “ 1 Peter 2:1-25
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. …” Psalm 23:1-6
“Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” Galatians 3:11
“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
Then I cried again. And it hit me.
Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. “Whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Rom.14:23) Anything, absolutely any act or attitude, which is owing to a lack of trust in God, is sin, no matter how moral it may appear to men. God looks on the heart. The root of my pain this morning, was not just reading the lies. It was not trusting God to carry me through. Temptation comes in many forms. I’ve allowed temptation to tamper with my faith, tamper my heart. Today, I make David’s words my own, Psalm 51:
Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love.
Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins!
Wash away all my evil and make me clean from my sin!
I recognize my faults; I am always conscious of my sins.
I have sinned against you—only against you—and done what you consider evil…
Sincerity and truth are what you require; fill my mind with your wisdom.
Remove my sin, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness; and though you have crushed me and broken me, I will be happy once again.
Close your eyes to my sins and wipe out all my evil.
Create a pure heart in me, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me.
Do not banish me from your presence; do not take your holy spirit away from me.
Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
Then I will teach sinners your commands, and they will turn back to you…
Help me to speak, Lord, and I will praise you.
You do not want sacrifices, or I would offer them; you are not pleased with burnt offerings.
My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God; you will not reject a humble and repentant heart…
Pray for me as I travel to North Carolina this weekend. May God move through this conference, refresh my soul, and place those in my path that will encourage me (just as he always has). When I come back, I have another rollercoaster of a week, where this person’s lies will be confronted. Guard my heart, oh Lord.