But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.~Isaiah 53:5 ESV
The intense pain in my back worsened, and I couldn’t even push a vacuum. I did not expect the extraordinary.
With degenerative arthritis and a bulging disc, what else should I expect but a life of gradual debilitation?
Before surrendering to this affliction, I found a thought-provoking exercise that changed my life. The instructions were simple: make a list of all the hurtful things people have done. This straightforward task dredged up memories I didn’t want to relive. My cynical nature didn’t believe that rehashing traumatic events would remove the pain, but desperation pushed me to compile experiences as far back as first grade. For my list of twenty-seven, I wrote what I hated about the person or situation, followed by what I understood about the person or situation.
Through many hours of writing and several boxes of tissues, I scratched items off my list. By the end of two weeks, my back pain disappeared. This exercise forced me to understand the person who caused me pain and the suffering that motivated their unkind words or actions. Only through understanding could I truly forgive and allow God to miraculously heal my body.
I hated my grandmother for many years. Several struggles on my list related to her. Her mean-spiritedness humiliated me many times as a child. When I reflected on her childhood in an unloving, abusive, alcoholic family, understanding and forgiveness followed. Until she accepted Jesus in her eighties, my grandmother didn’t have the foresight or strength to escape the spirit of generational sin.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.~Ephesians 6:12 NLT
God did not make people inherently evil. While on earth, Jesus saw firsthand the unseen influences the enemy had over humans: anger, lust, and hate among others. But when Jesus died, we inherited His power to withstand these manipulative forces.
For we are God’s masterpiece.~Ephesians 2:10 NLT
Releasing resentment, hate, and unforgiveness gave me freedom from decades of toxins and impurities that polluted my body and soul. Freeing myself from this hazardous waste created space for God’s healing presence to manifest.
When the enemy tries to polarize your view, how can you expect God to do the extraordinary?
Father God, thank You for Your unconditional love and that You remember my sins no more. It’s tough to forgive when others give rude gestures, mean comments, or hostile actions. Strengthen and empower me to become more like You. Help me see past the enemy to the defenseless person under attack. Let me be a light amid their darkness, so I can grow into the extraordinary person You created me to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2021: Expect Extraordinary: Irene Wintermyer: All Rights Reserved