I read the words in my Bible and I know they are true. I have seen them come alive in my life and change it in such a dramatic way that it can not be denied.
Like, for example, when I was going through my divorce. I was feeling so hurt and betrayed . All I wanted at first was for God to just zap him!
I knew God could do it. I had read about when Elijah was on the hill and God had poured out fire on his enemies – I wanted some of that! My ex had left me for another woman, ripped out my heart and set fire to all my hopes and dreams about our future, not to mention abandoned our unborn child, the least God to do was let a stray lightning bolt melt his car, right? Then in the midst of all this hurting and wanting revenge I stumbled upon Matthew 5:38-48 which reads:
38 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’
39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.
40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.
41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.
42Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.
44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.
47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.
48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
At first I thought, “That is too heavy of a thing you are asking for Lord. How can I love someone who doesn’t love me? How can I give to someone who took everything I had to offer and declared it not enough? How can I bless someone who has wounded me and continues to hurt me so deeply?” And the answer I heard in reply changed my whole heart.
“What was asked of Jesus was a heavy thing. He loves you when you don’t love Him. He continues to give to you when you are ungrateful and disregard His gifts. He blesses you who wounded Him and continue to hurt Him by not believing.”
It is like something broke inside me – but in a good way! – and all that anger and resentment melted away. I still had to work on being a little bitter for a while but I was no longer praying for lightening. I was praying for him to receive peace, healing, love and blessings. My time with God went from being venting sessions full of anger and fear to times of rest and healing for my own soul.
Thanks to the living word of God I was able to do in 9 months what it usually takes people years to accomplish – fully forgive, love, bless and release my ex husband from all the wrong he had done to me. It had nothing to do with me – Gods word in my heart is what made the change. I was not strong enough to forgive. I was not strong enough to love someone who hated me. I was not strong enough to do any of it but Jesus in me was.