The blog posts, email devotionals, and scriptures I read daily, during a traumatic, sorrowful period, frequently gave some healing as well as advice to keep me moving forward.
The perpetrator of my frustration also had bombardment from external forces. I suggested reading some of the Psalms which David wrote while in a bad place and while reaping the wrath of God for his sins, especially Psalms 31, 38, 56. Some of David’s words:
31:2 — Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!
38:10-11,21-22 — My heart throbs; my strength fails me, . . . My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague, and my nearest kin stand far off. . . Do not forsake me, O Lord! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!
56:1 – 3 — Be gracious to me , O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Sometimes emails involve others, causing them to become embroiled in the conversation. After sending the Psalms email, a non-believer connected to the discourse added, “A psalm won’t help you but you are very lucky to be away from this.” I could hardly believe what I read! That says very plainly, my antagonist has hidden the light under a bushel. Or maybe the light has extinguished.
My thought immediately went to Matthew 10:33 — “but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” And then in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:14, where Jesus called his followers the light of the world. He said people do not light a lamp and place it under a basket, but place it high on a stand where the light can spread everywhere. In the same way, we are to let our light shine before others, so they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.
The Apostle’s Creed states, “I believe in the forgiveness of sins.” I have always interpreted that statement as — I believe that God forgives our sins. I had not interpreted that phrase to include the forgiveness we must give others as The Lord’s Prayer plainly advocates, “Forgive us this day our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
But something I read in a post by Ann Voskamp recently had stronger impact. She reworded a prayer from St. Nikolai of Ochrid, 1880-1956, in her own words:
“I found safest sanctuary in You…may too my enemies-made-grace.
I found greatest grace in You… may my enemies-made-grace find Your generous grace alive and radical in me.
I found fullest forgiveness in You… may my enemies-made-grace find faith and freedom in You and Your forgiveness working surprising ways in me. Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.”