Monday, January 28, 2013
Getting to Know God: El Nathan N'qamah, El G'mulah
When deciding which name(s) to discuss today, I thought back to a conversation Jason and I had last night during our devotion time. The lesson in our study was on making sure we were on our spouse's side and that we were supporting each other in the way that the other wanted to be supported. Jason and I noted the reminder that this is an area in our marriage that still needs work. As an emotional person, when I face difficult times, I want to be comforted and encouraged. Jason, on the other hand, wants to be left alone to sort through his feelings. On more than one occasion, we have each been guilty of trying to support and comfort the other in the way we want to be supported instead of the way they want to be.
Anyway, the lesson led us into a discussion on previous problems that were handled incorrectly (by one or both of us) and how we could learn from our mistakes. One of the first situations that popped into my mind was an instance that happened several years ago when I was teaching kindergarten. A fellow teacher lied about me and got me into a major confrontation with the school administrator, who just happened to be her husband. During this meeting, accusations were hurled my way, and each time I tried to defend myself, I was interrupted. I had everything I could do to keep my composure during that meeting, but I didn't even make it back to my classroom before the tears were streaming. The accusations were false. I hadn't said any of the things I was accused of. The teacher knew me better than that, and for that matter, so did the administrator. The meeting was unfair and unjust. I was hurt beyond hurt. All I knew to do was grab my stuff, drive home (as carefully as I could through my tears) and wait for Jason to come home so that I could pour my heart out to him.
As we relived the event in our discussion last night, both of us became emotional. I was upset and hurt. Jason was angry and ready to pound something (or someone). I realized how much that one event still weighs on my heart and mind. While I forgave the individuals long ago (even though they never asked for my forgiveness or acknowledged any wrongdoing), I haven't been able to forget the event. The hurt and betrayal was just too great.
Sometimes, life is just not fair. People let us down. Circumstances arise that are unfair and unjust. During these times, it's a comfort to know that we don't have to take matters into our own hands. We can leave it up to God. He will avenge our wrongs. He'll take care of things in His way and in His time, and I can guarantee you He'll do a much better job than we ever could. Besides, who are we to act as judge and jury? That's not our place. It's God's. The Bible tells us as much: Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:19-21)
In essence, God is saying, "You let me handle the bad guys. As for you, kill them with kindness." Those are our orders. Are we going to follow them? We might as well. We'd certainly be better off. After all, God's got our backs. He is our Avenger. Let's turn the problem over to Him.
It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me. He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. - Psalm 18:47-49