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 to where I couldn’t push a vacuum. 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, items were scratched off my list, one-by-one. 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. Needless to say, 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 men and women inherently evil. While on earth, Jesus saw firsthand the unseen influences the enemy had over the human race: anger, lust, and hate among others. But when Jesus died, we inherited His power to withstand these manipulative forces.
When individuals mocked and scorned Jesus, His ability to see into the spiritual realm allowed Him to look beyond those haunting dark spirits and focus on the perfect creation of the Potter’s hand.Irene Wintermyer, contributing author to Whispers of Grace
The two greatest commandments are to love God and our neighbor. No wonder Satan works so hard to pit us against our Heavenly Father and each other. When a person says or does something hurtful, it’s the prince of darkness who seduces people with his deceitful ways. When individuals mocked and scorned Jesus, His ability to see into the spiritual realm allowed Him to look beyond those haunting dark spirits to the perfect creation of the Potter’s hand.The two greatest commandments are to love God and our neighbor. No wonder Satan works so hard to pit us against our Heavenly Father and each other. #VineWords #IreneWintermyer #ExpectExtraordinary Click To Tweet
For we are God’s masterpiece…~Ephesians 2:10a 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, do you have a pair of the Potter’s Holy-ized glasses?
Father God, thank You for Your unconditional love and that You remember my sins no more. It’s tough to forgive when rude gestures, mean comments, or hostile actions come my way. 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 in the midst of their darkness, so I can grow into the extraordinary person You created me to be.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Copyright 2021: Expect Extraordinary: Irene Wintermyer: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
Irene Wintermyer has a diverse background in medicine and business leadership which gives her a foundation of experience to broach many matters of life. With a zeal for writing, her aspirations are to encourage and ignite others to climb that mountain, reach the summit, and bathe in the blessings of God.
After retiring from her medical career, Irene joined the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild where she learned the art of writing and editing. Irene is also an active online member of Word Weavers. In addition to devotional writing, she is currently working on a Christian fiction novel entitled, Prophecy of The Key. She is a devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More.
Irene’s devotional, Just Joy, won the EABooks Publishing contest at the 2020 Florida’s Writer’s Conference, published in the book, Whispers of Grace.
She currently lives in the sunshine state of Florida with her daughter, son-in-law, and father. Irene’s daughter will attest that her mother is addicted to education. After completing her medical degree, she worked full time while earning an MBA. After retiring as a hospital administrator, Irene attended a Christian college obtaining a degree in Theology. With her passion for writing and a skill for editing, her next goal is to pursue certification as an editor.
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