Joyce developed a promising relationship with a man in another city. One evening at the close of a particularly delightful conversation, he told her he had an errand to run and would call later. As it turned out, the "later" lasted two years! It was as if he had vanished from the face of the earth, dropping her in the process.
Initially, she thought he had just gotten busy; but as time went by and her calls went unreturned, her nonchalance turned to alarm, then into anger and finally into a deep hurt. Her every waking moment was filled with the pain of his rejection, the pain of not knowing why, the pain of being alone, the pain of self-doubt, insecurity and fear.
After she spent two years in excruciating pain over her lost love, God gave her steps to use to regain her emotional health. First, she made sure that she indulged in no idle time. She took the Word of God and literally saturated myself in it, spending all her free time pouring over scripture. She knew the Word had healing and cleansing power, so she did her best to "bathe" herself in it every day.
Joyce also began to develop new levels of praising God. Whenever thoughts of the man who spurned her would enter her mind, she started to praise God, even if all she did was say, "Lord, I love You" or "Lord, I adore You." She spoke memorized verses aloud when she was alone and repeated them in her mind while at work.
When she changed her focus from pain to praise, she was filled with a sense of awe and appreciation. Even though His attributes seemed contrary to what He had allowed in her life, she knew that He is loving, holy, pure, faithful and just.
Finally, she had to make a conscious decision to extend the love of God toward her former boyfriend. She had to choose to love him, for in her flesh it was easy to feel hatred. She realized she could forever nurse a grudge against the man who had deeply wounded me, or she could choose to go on loving him-not with romantic love but with the agape love of God.
Thank You, Jesus, for giving us Your perfect ways to handle our pain.
"From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety" (Psalm 61:2 NLT).
Memory Verse for August
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:2-3).