by Eva Zarley
"I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah. 29:11
What follows is a devotional I wrote years ago. I have kept it because I believe there are many who suffer similar pain. Of course, the key to such healing as was needed at the time this was written is forgiveness. I knew it then and I know it even more, now. If you feel like a victim and pain consumes you, forgive. It is a matter of life and death.
Oh God, please heal me. That is the constant cry of my heart. I am not sick, at least not in the physical sense that I know of. It is a much deeper sort of illness that grips me. The difficult and painful circumstances of my past have left me greatly damaged, spiritually and emotionally. I am only beginning to see the harm that has been done. God has promised that He works all things for my good. This is so difficult to believe as truth when one has lost a loved one, been stricken with some debilitating illness or injury, endured gross injustice or suffered major financial or material loss. When in the midst of such trials, the real test is whether I can stand in faith that God's promise is true. I long to remain strong in the conviction that nothing can touch me that is not allowed by God. If I could just walk in the understanding that He plans to work it for my good, I would neither be resentful nor perplexed when evil comes against me.
The sense of being victimized by the world and those who practice its wicked ways, left a bitter root in the depths of my soul. Its tendrils have stretched and entwined themselves to the deepest places of my heart and mind, just as a fibrous cancer invades one's body. I didn't know it was quietly growing and overtaking me until the symptoms began to reveal its presence. Those insidious manifestations of my disease are anger, fear, pain and a terrible lack of love.
It is that last symptom that concerns me most of all. It is the one that will bring certain death and remove all joy. It is so vital that we love one another, even those who are hard to love. There is no way I can assist those who must find their way to reconciliation with the Father, if my love has grown cold. It is precisely those who have done me harm who need to know Jesus, the most.
I recall reading Corrie ten-Boom's account of a former Nazi tormenter coming forward, after hearing her speak of her faith during her prison-camp experience. He asked her for forgiveness, extending his hand. Corrie hesitated, recalling the cruelty she and others suffered at the hand of this man. She thought of her beloved sister, who perished there under the miserable and frightening conditions. Could she really forgive and even love this man? The voice of the Holy Spirit spoke firmly to her, "Corrie, if you can't forgive, you might as well pack it up because you don't have a message."
Forgiveness is not my nature. Whenever someone does wrong to me, it is my nature to fume and recount it to anyone who will listen. If a change in my heart was dependent wholly upon me, it would be a hopeless situation. I am thankful that what is impossible to me, is not to God. With Christ in me, I can have the mind and heart of Jesus and my Father, God. He will work my sorrow and indignation out for my good and restore my heart and mind and soul.
The healing is coming. I know it. I am still undergoing treatment and it is painful and consuming. As one with cancer would undergo surgery, chemotherapy or radiation to destroy the sinister cells of destruction, so am I enduring God's probing, cutting and burning. Like a determined physician, He does a "search and destroy" mission on the bitter root that is making me sick.
I cry out to my Lord, "Heal me!" I don't know when the cure will be complete, but I know that healing is taking place and that completion will come. My God is faithful! He is the Great Physician, the Divine Healer, full of mercy and loving-kindness that endures forever. Praise to His name!
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