My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:7-8
Washing my offender’s feet in prayer became my template. (It still is). The process of doing it, daily, spanned the course of several months. Just as David had to affirm things out loud in today’s scripture, I had to make audible confessions that centered on truths like these: Lord, You will come to my rescue. Your honor is really all that’s important. My trust is in You. I will pour out my heart to You and You will be gracious to help me when I can’t continue in my own strength.
Each day when I went to prayer:
I pictured myself sitting on the stool. My offender was in the chair and I was attempting to wash her feet as Jesus did the disciples. My struggle was ever before me and I talked to Jesus about how I was feeling. Every day was a crisis as I wanted to flee the scene.
I felt the hurt of her offenses as I reviewed every detail of them. This was not some cerebral exercise but a purging of my heart. I asked all the questions that erupt when painful events are re-visited. “Why?” “How could you?” “Did I really deserve this?” These were honest feelings but, in them, I also saw my own sense of entitlement.
Over time, I saw the nature of my tears change. For a few weeks, they were tears of anger and injustice. I couldn’t imagine I would ever get beyond them. After crying, my face broke out into an ugly rash where tears came down. It quickly dawned on me that the tears I had held inside were toxic to my body. What would they have done to me internally if I’d held them in for another 10 years! Eventually, I came to peace with God’s sovereign rule over my life and the nature of my tears changed. They were no longer angry tears, but quiet tears that reflected submission and trust. I realized that God allowed betrayal to become a theme in my story-line. I shared in some of the suffering of Jesus, and because of His resurrection, I chose to believe that my pain could also lead to something redemptive.
God showed me that He qualifies the kinds of tears we cry. Israel wept when they were taken into captivity. God told them that their tears were for deliverance from pain, not because they were mourning their sin. Understanding that, I knew I had to continue washing her feet in prayer until the bitter tears changed to surrender to God’s providence.
Many months later, deep in my spirit I heard Jesus say. “Well done.” I was free.
Still, every now and then there are days I still have to wash her feet in prayer. I discover new evidence of the damage she caused. Each time, I need the wind of the Spirit to fuel obedience.
Jesus, You washed Your disciples feet on the eve of their desertion of Your darkest hour. You didn’t withhold from them in disillusionment. Give me that same grace. Amen
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