Sweet Vindication!

They Had It Coming!

There are some people who just suck the life from you, the more you give the more they will gladly take.  So, when they get what they deserve for refusing to listen to “the counsel of many”*, the fault is all their own.  When we’re finally free from their self-inflicted stuff – Good riddance!

Have you ever felt like this?  Have you ever felt a sense of vindication when you can say, I told you so?  Now be honest, God knows if you’re lying or not.  There have been many times that I was about to step on platform to minister, frustrated over an immediate issue, and felt that warranted satisfaction to speak on a lesson someone needed to learn.  It was in these times that I was missing the point.  I too had, and still have, much to learn.

Why do we glory in another persons pain?  Why are we so quick to seek out their fault and try to fix them?

We are to lead others to truth.  We absolutely have a responsibility to draw attention to an area that may be damaging, but we are never to use it as a means to elevate ourselves.  W.W.J.D. – What Would Jesus Do?  That is the question to live by, not just to wear on our wrist or on our car as a political statement.  With everyday that passes I am grasping the fact, that the more I learn the less I know.  Maybe the next time I feel that sweet vindication in being able to put someone in their place, I need to ask myself this question, “What Would Jesus Do?”  Just maybe I’m the one who needs an attitude adjustment and a lesson from “the counsel of many?”

Since childhood, I’ve had a heart to be a vessel for God to use.  It’s so exciting to see God touch another heart for the better through you, but I had lost this sensitivity – for the most part.  When I was traveling in full-time ministry, I found myself becoming desensitized to the hurting people around me.  I would get back on the bus and grab my Sharpie pen to quickly cross off another day from the calendar.  I was simply too tired to be able to keep a healthy perspective and I began to wish life away.  When I realized what was happening to me, I prayed that God would give me a burden again for those who are hurting.  Life has been a ride ever since.

I was trying to fly back to Ohio for a funeral of a close friend the day my husband, Warren, was run down by a drunk driver.  From that day on, I faced 3 years of dealing with a corrupt legal system, resulting in failed legal battles, and grieved another 18 deaths closely related to me.  All this took place in the time span of about 3 1/2 years.  Most would think this would cause me to fear asking God for any further “gifts,” but it doesn’t.  Okay, it has caused me to hesitate for a moment, but only for a moment.  After my hesitation, I recall to my mind the fact that I serve the Almighty Merciful God.  He not only took on my burden, but He took all of my “self-inflicted stuff” and promises to work it out for my good.  (Romans 8:18-39)

With the different levels of pain and loss I have experienced over these last few years, I have grown to a place of sincerely weeping for the heartache of others.  I’ve had to learn how to gently hug the heart that is handed to me, then tenderly pass it over to God.  He alone can heal our brokenness and bring truth to those being deceived.

For the record, I do not think “Good Riddance” to those trapped or stuck in a dark place.  I am saddened they cannot seem to grab hold of God’s freeing power.  I am still wrestling in areas myself.  I’m seeking God for His truth to erase the imprint that this deceptive world leaves.  Thankfully, God in His grace, only reveals what needs to change in stages.  Everyone of us would give up if we had to face all of our faults at one time.

One of my favorite childhood songs is, “He’s Still Working On Me.”  The fastest way we can gain compassion for others, is to admit our own doubts, fears, and failures, then work through them.  I’m not talking about self-pity or self-condemnation.  It’s in our own growth process that empathy is developed.

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” -Matthew 11:29-30

If Jesus said to do this, then He will gladly trade us our burden for His joy.  We must remember as we read these reassuring words, that we too are called to be Christlike and love our neighbor as ourself.  Jesus extends grace to us that we do not deserve.  Where would we be if He simply said, “Good riddance?”

To The Father...

Sweet vindication to me, is seeing God set the captive free and making me stronger through each storm.  Only He can do this!

~Shannan

2011, Keeping It Real!  W.W.J.D.

* Counsel of many, (Proverbs 15:22)