I stumbled upon a strange sight today…quite a mystery to me. I spied a man sitting in the dirt and above and around him hung ominous gray clouds. Much to my consternation there were ugly open sours all over his body. He was consumed with licking them and did not lift his eyes to take note of the lovely day before him. He was completely absorbed with his wounds.
Wanting to be compassionate I asked, “ Can I help you?” He glanced my way, but once again I was struck with strangeness due his reply.
No one can help me, for no one truly understands the wrong I’ve suffered. All day long I remember how I was used, and taken advantage of. What I meant for good, others twisted to be evil. I have lost my self- respect and spend my time remembering. Such a pity to have such memories, wouldn’t you agree? But I have to remember that I may defend and protect myself.
Horrified, I saw another sight revealing the true source of his state. It wasn’t the mischievous deeds done to this victim that held him captive; it was devil’s commiseration. Remember, what they did to you and you were doing everything right? Who do they think they are anyway? And what about poor innocent you…just pushed around?
Suddenly, I saw Jesus holding a large black garbage bag. All this man had to do was hand over his memories and wounds to Jesus and pray for his enemies. Jesus would take the ugliness and turn it for good. But would this wounded man give that right to Jesus? Would he turn off the voice of Satan? Would he surrender and embrace the future the Almighty had for him? Jesus was not going to force him—vengeance and bitterness must be relinquished freely.
A few days ago I was face to face with that choice. I heard the Spirit say, It’s not the wrongs you suffer that define you. Oh no—it’s the way you respond to them.
I have a glorious life before me. So do you. I don’t want to sit in the dirt and lick my wounds while destiny waits and vanishes from view. Neither do you. Cast these issues on Jesus. Pray for your enemies. Embrace the blue skies of promise and fly with freedom in your Father’s world.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”