This blog I’ve been writing has really helped me through the last nine months. At the beginning, I didn’t think it would be possible to feel any lasting positive emotions, I didn’t understand that following God would heal and restore in the way it has.
Betrayal and adultery often end acrimoniously, full of bad feelings, with bitterness and anger and hurtful arguments.
The bible shows us another way. It’s a path full of difficulty because it denies self, and puts Christ at the centre.
Going God’s way at first glance may feel too difficult. It’s hard to let go of debilitating hurt and leave it at the cross without clawing it back. We feel we have the right to hold onto it.
There are two options which are both full of difficulty. I’ve tried them both. When I’ve hung on to hurt and anger, It’s caused me to lose joy with my Father. I believed Satan’s lies which put me into the deepest darkest pit.
The longer I continued on the road of anger and bitterness, the harder it became to respond rightly to God. We think we have the right to hold onto anger, but like all satan’s lies the only thing it really damages is ourselves.
The second road is just as difficult. After experiencing betrayal and heartbreak, society tells us it’s all about looking after number One. Self is up there, exalted, loved and worshipped. Self is often put before all else and even as Christians we can be drawn into this mindset.
So to go God’s way and to deny Self is truly swimming against the tide.
To walk on God’s road is like doing a bungee jump. We know that we have a harness on, but it’s so unbelievably frightening that we procrastinate, cling onto our hurt, and tremble on the platform. We know that if we take the plunge and jump, we will be glad we did. But as so often in life, the first step is the hardest. We have to take God at his word. Believe that every command is because he loves us. That nothing he tells us to do is because he is harsh or uncaring.
When we jump off that platform we realise that the harness is secure. With obedience comes joy. Those debilitating emotions dissipate and are replaced with peace and liberty because we know we are going God’s way.
Total submission to God’s rules will bring liberty and peace like nothing else can. It gives us an understanding that forgiving others has wonderful symmetry with God’s forgiveness of us. When we step out of satan’s kingdom we feel the sunshine that only comes from walking in obedience to God’s word.
As we make those feeble attempts to put Christ first, he will honour us and help us, and keep us on that amazing road which leads to life. The more we deny self, the happier we will be. Loving self is not the best way, it’s a lie which ends in despair.
Last week it was our 25th wedding anniversary. I praise God that it was a happy day. We acknowledged the hurt, we were so sad over the damage caused. As we look forward, we are excited to see what lies ahead. We are on the road of obedience and we pray that the next 25 years will be full of faithful service. It will most probably be unseen, at the back. That doesn’t matter in the least. We are both on the road to heaven. We want to serve him well together from this point. No doubt our responses will be full of inconsistency, but we look to God for his help and grace to bring us through.
There are still so many unknowns. Jobs, security, finances. But God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and he will provide all that is needed for his children.