Psalm 86:14-17 NIV
“Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.”
It was the early 1990s. I had been going through a time of depression and moral failure, but I was back on my feet, and I had joined a support group at my local church to help me heal emotionally and spiritually.
Prior to this I had worked a temp job at a local company where I had met and where I had worked with a young woman, Judy (not her real name). Judy was not a believer in Jesus, so even though I was not doing well spiritually or emotionally at that time, I knew I had to tell her about Jesus.
Judy and I formed a friendship, and she became part of our family, and she began attending church gatherings with us. At one of these gatherings, she believed in Jesus Christ to be her Lord and Savior, and she has been following him ever since then, as far as I know. Praise the Lord!
Well, Judy and I decided to join this support group together for we both had need of healing. She was timid and fearful about talking in the group, but she expressed to me that she wanted to talk, and she asked me to help her with that, and I said I would, even though I was hurting myself.
We had a couple of good meetings with this support group and then there was this one evening when Judy asked if I would help her talk at the group meeting. I agreed. So, when Judy began to talk that night and she got stuck, I encouraged her to not be afraid, that it was okay to talk.
The Next Week
Well, the next week at the support group meeting, the lady who was leading the group gave an announcement right at the beginning. She said they had a “new rule.” And the new rule went something like this:
“If your friend has something to say, let her say it, but if she doesn’t want to talk, don’t try to force her to talk.”
She might just as well have said, “Sue Love, if your friend doesn’t want to talk…,” for everyone in the room knew that the new rule was for me. I wanted to run and hide, but I would have had to walk past everyone, so I tried to maintain composure while trying to hold back the tears.
The next day, I think it was, I called the group leader, and I shared with her how that hit me, and I let her know that Judy had asked for my help and that I was trying to encourage her, not force her into anything. I wouldn’t have said anything if Judy had not asked for my help.
But the group leader was not receptive at all. She was convinced that I was trying to force my friend to talk when she didn’t want to talk and that I had done something wrong. And she was convinced that she had handled the situation correctly. She would not listen to me.
She told me I needed to speak with one of the pastors in the church who I had never met before, and he did not know me. So, I set up an appointment to talk with him.
The Pastoral Talk
That was a long time ago, but the Lord brought this man back to my memory today for some reason, and I believe the Lord is leading me to write about this today, also for some reason, but my memory is scant, so I will share what I recall.
I don’t remember who spoke first, but what I do remember is that the pastor told me that I was “autocratic.” I had to look up the word, for I was not familiar with it. It means “tyrannical, dictatorial.” I told him that I was not that, and I explained to him that my friend had asked for my help, so I was just doing what she had asked me to do.
He would not accept that. Even though he and I had never met before, he made a judgment about me, evidently on the word of the woman who was running the group, and he decided who I was and what I was about when he had absolutely no clue who I was or what I had been going through. So, he would not listen to me, either.
Now, for those of you who have read any of my testimony, you know that I had a rough life growing up, and that my husband and I had serious marital issues, primarily due to his sexual addiction, and as I said, I was just coming out of a time of depression and moral failure myself at this time.
I had been beaten down so many times in my life, and now here was another man/pastor “slam-dunking” me like I was a basketball going through a hoop. He had no compassion at all. He would not listen. He had his mind made up. And he was judge and jury and executioner, too.
I sat there in his office, with my husband beside me, while I just bawled my eyes out, and this pastor didn’t care. He was not moved at all by my tears. His job was just to tell me who I was and to execute the judgment against me. And my heart was ripped apart once again.
Pastor LK was arrogant and he was cruel to me without cause. He killed my heart without conscience or concern, and he was a pastor of a church. But God didn’t treat me like that. Thank the Lord! Or I would be dead!
The Lord was compassionate and gracious toward me, abounding in love. He turned to me, and he had mercy on me because I was showing his love to my new friend unselfishly when I was wounded and hurting myself. And he brought me out of that and other situations like that over the years.
But the Lord allowed me to go through that, and other such situations, because he had a plan for my life that would involve me getting rejected, mistreated, and misunderstood. And I had to learn to not run away.
I had to learn to be strong in the Lord and in his strength and to not let other people’s treatment of me or their opinion of me keep me from doing God’s will. I had to learn to stand strong in my faith no matter what people did to me or said about me. God was getting me ready for what he had for me to do, but at that time, I was unaware that was what was happening.
Then in 2004, around ten to twelve years later, the Lord called me to my present ministry of writing what he teaches me each day and of posting it on the internet. Now looking back, I can see God’s hand in my life through all that he took me through in preparing me for this ministry. So, I thank him and I praise him.
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!