Of all the flesh with which I struggle, forgiveness has never been one of them. Until recently.
Mr. B has waged a four year war against our family’s livelihood without basis. An angry but highly intelligent individual with no intimate relationships, real job or physical limitations, he relies upon government assistance while he spends every waking minute constructing false litigations. His knowledge of law is eclipsed only by his apparent evil intent to deceitfully twist it to his benefit.
Loving this man is just plain hard. It’s one thing to forgive when the deed is past but it’s an entirely different matter to continue to forgive when you know the detonation is around the next corner. How does one keep the heart tender in these situations?
Hidden beneath headlines of the day to day, lies the story of one who knows. American Pastor Saeed Abedini daily endures mental and physical abuse at the hands of those holding him in Iranian captivity. Around each corner is indeed more suffering but God’s grace and mercy sustain him in such a way that numerous prisoners are coming to Christ. And what about the abusers hearts? Who can speak of what might be happening there?
Over 2000 years ago the perfect Son of God hung on a cross between two thieves. Neither thief was better than the other. Each was guilty, depraved and without hope but only one of the two acknowledged it. Even before earth’s foundation, the One wedged between them knew that sinful mankind would repeatedly tread across His heart. And yet he bore the cost of the world’s sin with his life, and offered forgiveness. End of story, right?
It should be. But it’s so much easier to justify my anger at my enemy because his venom spreads and slowly seeps into me. The battle begins each time I see his derisive and diabolical web postings or hear he’s pursuing another malicious prosecution. My own cost in this legal debacle is not my physical life. But it might just be death to my rights and my security, all of which should rest in Him anyway.
Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more?
Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place
I desperately pray that Mr. B will relinquish the rage he spews our direction. I want deliverance from this trial. From watching the pain and exhaustion in the eyes of my beloved. But more importantly, my prayer is that he will recognize his own depravity and cry out to the One who can’t be manipulated by any law but will love him unconditionally. Because in my heart of hearts, I recognize that Mr. B and I are both thieves, for without God’s grace and mercy, I too am desperate for my own way and trudge through the darkness.