Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that for God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good deeds. ~ Rom. 12:17-19, 21
Recently, during my morning God time, these were the verses that jumped out at me. I finished reading, and literally said out loud, “Blah, blah, blah.” That day was not an easy day for my husband and I. We were put in the position of having to deal with consequences that came from trusting someone we shouldn’t have, who subsequently betrayed and hurt us deeply.
Even though I’d forgiven this person, and turned them over to God, I didn’t want to read the above verses. I wasn’t in the mood. I knew what we’d soon be facing, and my stomach was churning. Nevertheless, I prayed and I asked God for His mercy, grace and favor, to get us through the day.
Not long after that, when we were in the midst of our “stuff,” we abruptly and unexpectedly came face to face with this person. To the best of our knowledge, this person was not going to be there, and was in fact there for a different reason. We were stunned. There was our enemy, the one who’d so casually betrayed and hurt us, the one we’d hoped we’d never see again. The one we certainly didn’t expect to see on that day.
As I sat there, feeling as if we’d been sucker-punched, I was questioning God, why? Why are we face to face with our enemy? I mean, God is the God of the Universe! He is the Lord God Almighty! He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent! He could have done something, right? Well, He did. He reminded me of these Scripture verses I’d read just that morning. He’d spoken to me through His Word, and reminded me that He was in control, and that even if I didn’t see what was happening, this was in His hands.
Phew! I gained some peace by this and hope that though this situation was excruciating, it wasn’t the end, and that if we remain honorable, God would use it for good in our lives. I believe that. I also believe that God is good, and He can be trusted, with my life, with my heart and with my hurt. Sometimes I just need to remember that God is God and I am not. And I am so grateful that He loves me enough to teach, guide and correct me through His Word and through other sources. I am so grateful that He loves me enough to accept me where I am, but He loves me too much to let me stay there.
My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. ~ Prov. 3:11-12