When we immigrated to Canada, we had to rent flats in various houses until my father and mother had saved enough money for a down payment on a house of their own. I remember my mother telling me that the very first flat that they rented cost them $25 a month — a bit high in the 1950s. Due to a language barrier, my parents had no other choice but to pay the monthly rent to the landlord, an immigrant as well.
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (NIV)
When I was twelve years old, we rented another flat. Back then, it would have been considered a slum area, but according to my father, it was a lot cheaper, and therefore, he rented it. When I first met our new landlord, I had an uneasy feeling about him. I remember coming home from school and starting my way up the stairs to our new home, when I heard the footsteps of the landlord behind me. He followed me into the kitchen and sat down. He asked me to come over to him. Innocently, I obliged. He grabbed my hands and drew me towards him. It was at that awkward moment when I heard my younger brother coming home from school and running up the stairs, which interrupted what might have been. God's timing was perfect. Soon after that happened, we moved.
There were two other occasions that could have turned out to be sexual abuse, but God's protective timing was always perfect. Unbeknownst to a thirteen-year-old, I did not realize that these unfortunate events would affect me and my daughter later on in life.
When my firstborn was twelve years old, I began to notice that I had trouble hugging her. She was the same age that I was when I had had my first encounter with our landlord. I felt in my heart that there was a problem. I shared my dilemma with a good friend who had led me to Jesus a few years before. She told me that I should talk to Jesus and tell Him what I was going through. Tearfully, I did, and He challenged me to forgive the men who had tried to abuse me. Then one day, I realized that I was once again able to hug my daughter.
Matthew 6:15 – But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (NIV 2011)
It is in the forgiveness that we give, that we are healed.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know our hearts. You know what is going to happen within our lives. You know, because You are with us when we encounter danger. Help us to forgive those who have wronged us, just as You forgive us for wronging You. Bring healing into the deep hurts of our lives. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "God Moves In A Mysterious Way" (Lyrics)