Letter from Editor

       My sister once experienced the pain of betrayal so intense that she described it as a lingering pain of heaviness on her chest that greeted her when she woke up in the morning, lasted all day long and accompanied her as she drifted off to sleep at night. The oppressive gnawing pain lasted for weeks and she began to think that it would never go away. She hurt so bad that she expressed a strong desire to severely hurt the two people who caused her such distress.

       When she related her situation to me she asked if I thought that God could take the pain away. I assured her that He could and immediately prayed for her.

       Most all of us have been hurt by someone at sometime in our lives. Some more than others. There are a variety of ways that we can be hurt including being rejected or passed over, the object of gossip or slander, cheated on by a spouse, physically assaulted, robbed, lied to, cursed or called names; ...This list could probably go on in great detail but the point is that we've all been hurt.

       Have you ever been filled with pain to the point of despair? Have you ever been terribly overwhelmed? Have you ever felt such deep pain that it felt like your heart was breaking inside? Have you ever felt like nobody cares and there's nobody to help you? Have you experienced a pain so intense that you just felt like dying?

       Like my sister, many of us want to hurt those who have hurt us. That's natural and the natural man follows the path of sin. However, God has a better plan. A plan for healing and restoration, which is really where we want to be. Remember, God said, "Vengeance is mine," God will deal with your enemy if you let Him.

       Also, think about this, God said that He will forgive us as we forgive others. After all, we've all sinned and in some way, to one degree or another, have caused hurt and pain in someone else's life. We all need to be forgiven. Keep this in mind: The measure that we measure out will be measured back to us.

       I recently arrived late for an appointment and sincerely apologized, worried I offended this person. His response was simple yet eye opening. He basically said, "I'm not offended. I've made many people wait on me, so for me to be offended would be hypocritical."

       I then realized how hypocritical I had been. You see, I've recently been deeply wounded and overwhelmed with pain. I just felt I had to make the person who hurt me know just how I felt and what I thought. However, this person didn't understand my pain nor did he understand how much he hurt me. In fact, this person didn't think he hurt me at all. In my bitterness and pain my words offended him. Now, I've become guilty too. I then needed mercy and grace so I repented for the both of us.

       As Jesus hung on the cross, mocked and beaten, He said, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do'.

       Jesus is our example. Because He died to forgive us, we can all be cleansed of our sinfulness. Yes, even those who hurt us willfully or unknowingly can be forgiven.

       Not too long after I prayed for my sister she came to me one day with an intense smile on her face and unveiled excitement in her voice. She told me how she had forgiven the two people who wounded her soul. She then asked me if I could guess how she knew that she had forgiven them. I said that I couldn't guess. Then she proudly revealed, "God took the pain away."