Rev. Sudha Mehta©
“Sister, we would like you go with us and pray for a woman from our congregation at her home after service.”
I was to preach at a church while on a Missions trip. After service, on the way to the woman’s home I inquired about the situation. About ten days prior the woman had just inexplicably gone mute. She couldn’t utter a word. The husband had contacted the pastor, she had been prayed over, medically examined, and even checked by a psychiatrist. They even tried to do deliverance prayer, and no success.
The family were refugees from a nation in turmoil. They had been in the country for a few years, having escaped a brutal regime. It had been very difficult, but they made it out. War between their country and a neighboring one had dragged on and the military went door to door to take all the young men of fighting age to the front lines. The regime took her brothers, and when her father protested, he was shot dead in front of the family. She escaped in the night with her husband and two little boys, but they were forced to leave her aging mother behind. Now there had been no news of mother for several months.
Just a few days prior to my arrival, the dictator of her country had suddenly died. The timing of her going mute coincided with the death of said dictator. The Lord gave understanding of the issue, and I knew what I had to do. When we got there I was taken to the living room. There was no furniture, just mats on the floor for people to sit on. She sat leaning against a wall with her head covered, gazing at the floor. I was told that she had also not been able to sleep for several days. She did not look up to make eye contact with anyone.
Sitting in front of her, I took her face in my hands so she had to turn her head to me and asked her to look into my eyes. She did. This is what I said to her “As I speak to you, the dictator burns in hell.”
With a loud wail tears started to flow, she lifted her hands to heaven and weeping, sobbing, laid her head in my lap.
“All who harmed you and do not repent, will suffer the same fate,” I added. She wept more. . . . exhausted in a bit of time she fell asleep.
The group from church watched silently along with her husband.
With her asleep and her head in my lap, we talked. I asked more about what they had done for her. They had repeatedly told her that she had to forgive and let it all go.
This woman had a volcano of rage within her that she had tried to cap off. When told to forgive without any promise of recompense she couldn’t deal with the anger. Also believing anger to be a sin, she worked on suppression so hard that speech became impossible and intense depression took over. She needed to know that the God she served said:
Romans 12: 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
When God asks us to forgive, it in no way means that there will be no recompense. The forgiveness we are to offer is intended to free us. We can, with full confidence, leave the matter in the hand of our Great Father, who is able to deal with the offender much more effectively than we can; His way, His time.
We need not carry anger,rage, unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and be eaten up inside. Our health need not suffer, we need not become insufferable in our behavior and make life miserable for ourselves and others around us. We need to be released of all these emotions that are not life-giving. Once we are released by setting our burden on the shoulders of God, who does not forget, short of the offender repenting; we can stand on God’s promise that He will repay. Not when and how we may want Him to, but His way, his time.
Off course, we should hope that the offender repents. In the same chapter of Romans it also says:
Romans 12: 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. . . . 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
God is as loving as He is just. He doesn’t desire that any should perish, rather that all should know Him. Yet there is a literal hell. Interestingly enough, this place was not created for man to go, but rather a place for fallen angels. Yet, it is place that also holds fallen man.
So, forgiveness is ours to give, it is a powerful tool for obtaining liberty for ourselves. It is freedom, it is blessing. If there is any vengeance to be gotten, we can trust our Father to do as needed.
Once this woman knew God had not forgotten the harm done to her and her family, she slept.
The next morning I left to go minister in another city. The day was a rainy one, her husband woke up and got the children to school while she yet slept and then he went off to work. After school the two little boys walked home. The puddles were so inviting they made their way from puddle to puddle, laughing all the way to the sidewalk by their home when they heard, “Boys, get in out of the rain and get changed!”
Mama spoke firmly! Mama found her voice!!
She later testified in church, that after I left, as she slept, the Lord Jesus appeared to her in a dream, and lifted the heavy burden from her shoulders so she felt total peace and relief.
How about you? What burden are you carrying? Would you like to hand it over to this same God? Perhaps you should consider . . . .