Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December 18, 2013 … Betrayal

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 352

Devotional Song: Go to this link  – Please take your time to see a video of the powerful song, performed by Point of Grace singing Heal The Wounds, a song which reminds Christians that our past wounds can be healed by a loving God who will leave the scars to remind us of His healing love.

Highlight Passage #1a - NLT: Psalms 55: 12-13; ... 20-21  
12 It is not an enemy who taunts me — I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me — I could have hidden from them. 13 Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. … 
20 As for my companion, he betrayed his friends; he broke his promises. 21 His words are as smooth as butter, but in his heart is was. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers!  
Highlight Context - NLT: Psalms, Chapter 55… GO TO THIS LINK … 

Reference Passage #1: Lamentations 3: 22-23 … [NLT]
 22 The faithful love of the LORD never ends His mercies never cease. 
23 Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.

Reference Passage #2: Philippians 2: 6-11 … [NLT] … GO TO THIS LINK

My Journal for Today: Today, in his workplace ministry devotional, Os Hillman discusses how the believer must deal with something that we all will likely encounter; and that is the betrayal of a colleague, partner, or co-worker; and that is a worthy subject for pondering and discussion (as possibly represented by the attached photo). However, as I meditated on Hillman’s blog, I was stricken by the wounds of shame which are created on the other side of the betrayal, … i.e., if we were the one who was the betrayer, not necessarily the one who was betrayed. Because there will be scars which are left on both sides, especially if the betrayer is a repentant Christian who is wounded by shame and needs forgiveness from the one betrayed to heal the scars left behind from the betrayal.

And this gets personal with me; because, for the first twelve years of my marriage, not being a Christian and one deeply involved in compulsive and recurring sexual sin, I was repetitively unfaithful to my wife, repetitively betraying the vows we had taken during those years. But circumstances led to me having to confess my betrayal to my wife; and then both of us were wounded, … she by my betrayal and me by the shame of my betrayal.

 So, how do people deal with such wounds?

 Well, the first thing we needed to heal in this betrayal scenario was Jesus; and though the story is too long to relate here, a few years after the revelation of my betrayal, first I, then my wife, came to know Christ as our Savior and Lord; and it was only then that the real healing could begin to take place. And over time – it always takes time (God’s time) – the open wounds became scarred over with God’s love and His healing grace (see Lamentations 3: 22-23). And actually, as the song relates, by Point of Grace linked above, the scars which remain after the healing process become reminders of God’s faithfulness and mercy in that restoration.

BUT, isn’t that why Jesus came into this world (see Philippians 2: 6-11)? Isn’t that why God’s Son was willing to set aside His heavenly glory, to humble Himself as a man, and even to die, in humiliation on a cross, to provide us with the ultimate healing grace, the salve which allows a betraying sinner like me the mercy and love to be forgiven and the wounds from my shame to be healed. His acts of love, wrapped up in the Phil. 2 passage, define how one like my wife can find the grace to forgive her betrayer (ME) and to have her trust in me healed as we both sought His mercy and grace over the time necessary to turn wounds into scars.

Oh, how I pray – for both of us today – that we remember and surrender to God’s grace of forgiveness and healing, available every morning for those of us who need it. Both my wife and I desperately needed that healing; and the scars which remain today from the healing and renewal of our marriage testify to God’s love.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, my scars scream out about Your love and healing grace. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online blog entitled Today God Is First [TGIF], authored by Os Hillman. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read Hillman’s TGIF blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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