As I grew older and became more aware of how true justice could rip my world apart... that the consequences of my own actions could be serious enough to maim me forever... I found my grip on justice slowly loosening. I began to acknowledge my true hunger for grace. The more I craved grace for myself, the less I found it existed in the world at large. I will never forget sitting in a church as a visitor and listening to the pastor preach grace... I started weeping and could barely breathe as my heart ached desperately for that grace to be poured out on me. The seed had been planted for the true gospel to began a transformation in me.
Not long after, I led a group of women through Jerry Bridges' study, "Transforming Grace". I was suddenly convicted that I was withholding the grace that I craved from the people around me. Grace was great if it was lavished on me, but I wasn't about to show that same grace to others... especially if they had hurt me, were "unfair" or didn't seek reconciliation or forgiveness. I
During this time, I was struggling deeply with unrelenting anger toward a couple of people who I felt had abused their position and mistreated me. My visceral reaction was to launch into a defense crusade for myself and at the same time engage in a smear campaign against them. I was with a group of local worship leaders who gathered on a semi-regular basis for support and encouragement and as we were praying one of the women looked up and said, "Melissa, I think God has a verse for you." A little apprehensively I said, "Ok...what is it?" She sat next to me and had me turn to Exodus 14:14.
14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (ESV)WHAT?! Be SILENT??!! What about justice? What about restitution? What about clearing my name?
14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (ESV)I had to confront myself... did I trust that God would take care of this situation, the people involved and me? Did I have faith in His Sovereignty?
I still fight a daily battle against my sense of justice and for the gospel of grace. Today, in fact, I encountered another situation where I believed I had been misrepresented and subsequently mistreated. I was hurt, discouraged and livid. Unfortunately my old nature made the first move. I sat down at my computer and wrote an
My dear friend was empathetic but nevertheless spoke truth into my life (which is what being a real friend is all about).
"Justice is for the faithless." She said.It stopped me in mid-send-button. What she was saying to me is demanding my attention and forcing me to ask those same "trust" questions I've asked before and will probably be asking until the day I die. Do I trust Him? I want the answer to be... "yes".