Turning Wounds Into Wisdom

November 19, 2018
by Rose DeShaw

Matthew 10:16 – Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (KJV)

Ecclesiastes 7:12b – Wisdom gives life to the one who possesses it. (NRSV)

A man on a ladder across the street was cleaning out the eavestroughs of a small apartment complex. "Would you do mine when you're finished?" I called out. "Sure," he said. He came over about half an hour later, did a decent job on my stopped-up gutters, and charged a reasonable sum. "I also need a banister put up on the stairs," I said. I took him inside to view the job, paid him cash to buy the materials, and arranged a time to begin.

But he didn't show up. I dusted off my memory of how contractors work, and I waited. A week later, he came over to tell me that he'd bought the materials but they were in a buddy's truck on an island. Meanwhile, his long-lost daughter was coming to visit. Could he have an advance on the job? I gave him more cash. After all, he lived right across the street. We arranged a time to begin. He didn't show up.

Two weeks later, he came over, hat in hand. He could begin on Wednesday. I waited around all day Wednesday. He didn't show up. Talking to a neighbour, I mentioned him, and she said, "Well, after all, he is a heroin addict — always has been, since I've known him." The man came over again at the end of the week. "Bad news," he said. "My buddy's truck was broken into and they took the materials for your banister." He eyed me to see how this was going down. "So, I'll need money to replace them."

I shook my head. No. But I knew who was responsible for all this: I was. I hadn't waited for what I call the sacred pause, praying just for a moment to ask for God's help before I made the decision that turned out to be enabling this man's addiction, not once, but twice. I asked for God's forgiveness, and then, I forgave him. He went away looking puzzled. I pray for his release from addiction.

When we pause to pray for God's help, His wisdom always comes, and we are enabled to see beyond ourselves into the truth.

Prayer: Dear God of all power, thank You for the opportunity to consult You before we act. We are grateful that through Your grace, our wounds can be turned into wisdom that deepens and grows. Help Your children who are controlled by addiction to call to You for help to resist evil and find the freedom that You offer as they find their way to You. Please take our lives and emotions, and manage them as You see fit. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Rose DeShaw <rise370@gmail.com>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Rose.


    I need to pray before I lash out at my husband!


    Rose, Excellent advice and you handled that situation well.


    Live and learn. Been there done that!
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Rose.
    May God bless you abundantly for your willingness to be God’s voice!


    What a good reminder… especially with the busyness of the holidays upon us.
    (Texas)


    “Please take our lives and manage them as You see fit “, says it all.
    Thank you.


    Thanks for sharing this devotional with us. I’m sorry you were defrauded, but pray God restores what the enemy of our souls devoured. Blessings.


    A big AMEN to that prayer Rose. So many people are so weakened by their addictions that they don’t realize there is a way out.
    (ON)


    Thank you Rose for today’s devotional. I think that a sacred pause is so very important before we act or talk and say something that might be misconstrued. May God guide us in all our actions and thoughts.


    Dear Rose DeShaw,
    Thank you for the warning devotion.
    If we allow addicts to take us in on their game, we contribute to the addiction.
    Keep writing.
    I pray that God will keep us alert, gracious, and prayerful.


    Hello Rose
    This is a very good devotional and so true, it is so easy to have this happen because we do not see the evil one and not praying, just going ahead and doing things.
    Great reminder for us all, to pause and pray and then do what God would have us do.
    God bless and thanks again.


    Dear Rose,
    You wrote a sensitive and kind devotion that touched my heart. It took me years to realize the importance of praying first before acting. I guess it’s something I need to work on the rest of my days because it is so easy to act without wisdom, and then realize, “I should have prayed first”. God is so good to answer when we ask.


    Hi Rose.
    Thank you again for such a beautiful devotion and the truth of how we can make mistakes but still find it in our hearts to forgive. If I am proud of you, just imagine how proud our Lord is of you!
    I know my parents must have prayed wholeheartedly when I was in the troughs of addiction. Praise the Lord, God won and Satan lost.
    God bless you Rose.


    I have a client right now whose cheque has bounced. The Lord is leading me in ways of dealing with him, which are, treat him in the way you would like to be treated.
    Now I have a cash flow issue, due to the mail strike. I’m juggling payments and receipts.
    My investment counsellor, when I told her my problem, said that there is something she can do and get the needed funds, quickly.
    Is there a connection? I suspect so.

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