"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength." Isaiah 26:3-4 King James Version
I do not want to write this devotion because it reminds me of so many painful things that happened yesterday. In fact, for the first time since God gave me the ministry of writing devotions, I almost disobeyed Him and did not write it. I receive a lot of emails from people who tell me how wonderful I am and how they admire me. While I really appreciate all the kind words and encouragement, and I need the kind words and encouragement, I am only human just like you are. However, the reason I am living is to make Jesus happy and when He tells me to do something I will do it no matter how I feel.
I received an email last night from someone who threatened to kill me. I was sure that it was spam because it was not addressed to me personally. It was addressed to "Undisclosed Recipients". However, I thought that I needed to exercise good judgment and caution so I sent out an urgent prayer request to my mailing list telling them what had happened and asking them to pray.
When I called the sheriffâ€™s office, the lady who answered the telephone, she was not an officer, felt that it was serious enough to send an officer to my home. The officer took one look at the email and said "I have seen these kinds of emails before and it is spam. Just block the sender and delete it." I have to admit that for a few minutes I was a little concerned that it might be a real threat but after I sent the prayer request to my mailing list, I was no longer concerned.
While that incident in itself was enough to shake me up, something happened yesterday morning when I was at Wal-Mart that had already disturbed me and shook me up a lot. I went to the restroom and while I was in there, I heard something that sounded like someone was hitting a child over and over. Then I heard what sounded like muffled cries coming from a child. I immediately got nauseous as I always do when I get upset.
When I came out of the bathroom stall, I saw a little girl, I think she was about six or seven years old, standing there facing the wall. I said hello and she glanced at me and turned away quickly. However, it was long enough for me to see that she had a black eye and a big bruise on her cheek. I knew that I couldnâ€™t do anything because I didnâ€™t have any evidence of anything. However, I did report it to one of the people that worked there at Wal-Mart.
She said something to me that broke my heart as it sounded like she was talking from personal experience as she got tears in her eyes as she said it. She said "Be careful what you say about this little girl to the authorities. Even if you had proof, which you donâ€™t, the person who is abusing this child will only get angry and beat the child more."
I have received at least eight emails over the last three years from people who told me when they were little children that their parents used to beat them. They also said that when someone reported it, it only made their parents angry and they beat them even more. While it makes me extremely angry and I want to beat the people who beat their children, I also know that these people are human. Instead of being angry at them, we need to pray for them. Being angry at them will not stop them from beating their children. Not only should we pray for these parents, we must minister to them in love. Isnâ€™t that what Jesus does for us?
When we fail our dear loving and precious Saviour and hurt Him, He still loves us unconditionally. He forgives us over and over from His heart of amazing love, grace and mercy. We may not be beating Jesus physically in person, but when we curse Him and constantly make cruel, criticizing and sarcastic remarks to people, people who He loves and was crucified on that old rugged cross of horror and agony for, we are beating our precious Saviour emotionally.
I have heard a lot of people say "If they tell me that they are sorry and ask me to forgive them, I will think about it but I am not promising anything." I used to feel the same way. I used to think that a person had to tell me that he or she was sorry before I would think about forgiving that person.
One day, God spoke to my heart and said "No one told My Son that they were sorry while He was hanging on that cross yet He forgave them." How that broke my heart and embarrassed me as I realized that I was wanting people to do something for me that they never did for my precious Saviour.
When I went to bed last night, I tossed and turned thinking about that precious little girl that I saw in the bathroom at Wal-Mart and I got nauseous again. I finally gave it to Jesus and asked Him to please protect her from harm. After I prayed and placed that sweet little girl in the arms of Jesus, I felt the perfect peace, the peace that only He can give us, come over me. I donâ€™t even remember going to sleep. I slept wonderful with no bad dreams either.
Whatever is going on in your life today, no matter what kind of crises or heartaches you are experiencing, if you will stay in the presence of Jesus and trust Him, He will not only keep you in peace, He will keep you in perfect peace. Sometimes we forget that this verse has two parts to it.
The Bible says "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, because his mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." It is not enough to stay in the presence of Jesus and keep our minds on Him, we must trust Him also. If today, you are hurting, give all of your heartaches and burdens to Jesus. He will be faithful to not only hold you close to His loving heart; He will also kiss your tears away. No one loves you like Jesus loves you.
Copyright 2088 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved