Unexpected healing oftentimes starts with an unexpected hurt. This big hurt happened many years ago when I was the Vacation Bible School director for our church. One of the lead teachers chronically missed important meetings without a good excuse. With only two weeks to go, I informed the college-aged student that I was replacing her as a lead teacher. My decision did not sit well with her mother who attended a different church. Later that day, I received a call from her mother, Jane (name changed.) She let me have it. She didn’t mince words regarding my decision, regarding my Christian witness, regarding my faith or regarding how I was raising my boys. I hung up on her and called my pastor. I asked him to make these types of calls stop. To his credit, he took care of the problem and I never received another nasty phone call. However, it did not take care of the bigger problem: bitterness and unforgiveness that festered in my heart. Several years later, as I enjoyed my Bible study group, our paths crossed again. Our group had a new member: Jane. The voice I heard was my own, thinking to myself, “Oh great, this year is ruined.” But there was another voice trying to get my attention. The Holy Spirit was suggesting I talk to her after class. Okay, not suggesting, but rather compelling me to reach out to her. I no longer recall what I said to break the ice, but I clearly remember the emotions that washed over me. As much as I wanted an apology from her, she needed to hear me say that I forgave her. We both ended up with tears in our eyes. The beautiful ending to this story of healing is that we became best friends. It didn’t happen. And it didn’t have to happen. However, God’s healing enabled us to study his word together. To fellowship together. To worship together. To pray for each other. To have unity in the body of Christ. To know the joy of forgiveness. In the hands of God, unexpected hurts can have beautiful healings.
And when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.