"I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me for I have paid the price to set you free." Isaiah 44:22 NLT
An old offense was brought to my attention yesterday.
It came in the form of a telephone call, "Hello, Cheri, I don't know how to say this ... "
The tone was extremely serious.
My nerves began to quiver.
I braced myself.
Words began to topple from my friend. I had been wounded by misunderstanding ... a long time ago. I had long since put it all to rest. Now I was being reminded.
My memory of details were vague.
"I should have come to you a long time ago and made this right," my friends words brought comfort.
It was so timely. The Lord knew that this was the week to bring up the past. "Offenses" is the word of the moment. The word keeps rising up in various ways from many sources over the past several days.
After the call, when all concern was quieted on both sides of the misunderstanding, I settled into prayer. Deep prayer. Prayer that begs the Lord to search my heart and reveal my anxious thoughts.
I began to fill a blank page.
Offenses come. What do I do with them?
Do I stuff them deep inside hoping they will keep company with all of my other hurts?
Do I wear them on my sleeve sharing them will all who will listen, hoping they too will pick up my offense and side with me?
Or do I take it to the Lord asking Him to help me through the pain of offense so that I can grow through the offense and love the offender ... beyond the offense?
I am sad to say that I have done all three.
I hope you do the third option when you are offended.
My first reaction to offense is I just want to quit! I give up! I cry, get angry, and want to throw in the towel.
I have found that there is strength to be gained when I take offenses to the Lord. He reveals the truth in what has been said by my offender. He settles my heart and I welcome His peace. I wish this was my first response every time. I think my life would be much easier.
I prayed through the situation my friend brought to my remembrance yesterday. I was unaware that there was residue of hurt still in my heart. I asked for the Lord to heal. The enemy had successfully come in creating division. Because it was brought to my mind the Lord had opportunity to bring healing to my soul, now I am restored and thanking Him.
My friend cared enough to call. They wanted to make things right, making my heart rejoice. But the greatest thing is the Lord brought it up. He dealt with my heart and healed it, which stirs me to praise.
Do you have any thoughts on being offended? I would love to learn from your wisdom.
" ... offenses must come ... !" Matthew 18:7 NKJV
"Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses." Proverbs 10:12 NLT