The day after I posted my last blog post was a bad day. I woke up hormonal, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the things I alluded to in that post, and I became hurt and angry all over again. Angry at the enemy, angry at all the people he used to hurt me, angry at God for allowing all of that stuff to happen. It was an anger and a sadness I couldn’t shake, no matter how much I tried to cry it out or pray it away.
The day after that, hormones settled down and I wasn’t quite so emotional. That morning, we listened to a weekly Bible lesson.
My husband and I don’t attend a local church–we have a list of reasons and excuses about as long as my arm, and I know most of it is probably stuff we should just get over–but instead we connect online to a home church down in Dallas, run by family friends of Matt’s. Usually it’s a live broadcast, on Thursday nights and Sunday mornings, although we usually watch Thursday night’s session on Friday morning because we’re old and tired and we can’t stay up that late on a weeknight. A live broadcast had been scheduled for that particular Thursday, but when the time came, the pastor fell ill, so they aired a replay of an old lesson instead.
Now I’m not saying that God made the pastor sick just so they’d play that lesson for me, but it’s funny how God uses these things sometimes. The lesson they chose to play that week was, as it turned out, exactly what I needed to hear that morning, when I was in just the right frame of mind to receive it.
The lesson was on the second chapter of 1Peter, and what stood out to me was verse 23:
“[Jesus] who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed to Him who judges righteously.”
The Greek word translated here as “revile” means to verbally abuse. The day before, I’d been stewing over all of the verbal and emotional abuse I’d been subjected to growing up. How could grown up people be so awful to an innocent little kid?
And now here was Peter talking about Jesus, “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth” (verse 22), the one person who was truly innocent, who was even less deserving of the abuse and cruelty that was heaped upon Him, and how He endured it patiently because He knew it was all lies.
Jesus knew those people didn’t know what they were talking about, that they were just tools of the enemy, meant to destroy Him, or at least to wear Him down and take the fight out of Him. He knew that the only One who had a right to judge Him was also the only One who truly knew Him, and knew the whole truth about Him.
Everything clicked into place as I heard that, like a switch got flipped on my perspective. It’s the same for me. All those people who abused me and called me names, who made me feel worthless and rejected — they were jut tools that the enemy used to convince me that I don’t matter, that I’m ineffectual and useless and unwanted, to wear me down, crush my spirit and take all the fight out of me.
But the One who judges me righteously — the only One who has a right to judge me — knows better. He knows me, and what I’m capable of, because He made me. People put all kinds of negative labels on me growing up, but the only names and labels that matter are the ones He gives me. And He calls me Chosen. Beloved. His workmanship. Fearfully and wonderfully made. Created for good works.
So who, then, am I going to believe?
My dear, sweet sister in Christ, who are YOU going to believe?