Sunday, January 22, 2012

My swollen jaw, forgiving haters...

This pic of my swollen jaw doesn't do it justice.

The left side of my cheek reminds me of Eddie Murphy as a Klump, wearing a fat suit.

Thank our Most High God that it's better than it was turning out to be, as the swelling crawled under my neck Friday night.

A return visit to the dentist who sawed my wisdom tooth in four parts in order to get the thing out of my skull showed lots of concern -- you know it's serious when he gives you his cell phone number and tells you to come back Monday, informing his assistant I could come back anytime I want.

Ah well, I know it's not just the strong painkillers and antibiotics that's causing this peace in the pit of my belly.

Forgiving the folks who don't even say they're sorry... and letting the past go

That's one of the main things I took away from watching Bishop T.D. Jakes' message this morning streaming online as I played "Bedroom Baptist" today, not wanting to risk driving 33 minutes each way down to Cleveland and back in my state of being.

It was a 3-hour long service, and packed with power.

Bishop Jakes brought a man up to the stage who'd just gotten out of jail after being wrongly imprisoned for 30 years for an aggravated rape that he didn't commit.

Basically, it came down to the fact that after the guy exhausted all his own resources in trying to right the wrong -- when he finally gave up and gave in to God and realized that the Lord allowed him to go to jail and that He'd change it when he wanted to -- that's when stuff started happening and he got released 18 days ago.

The man, Ricky, said something powerful about God sending him to prison in order to release him from his personal prison. Yeah, I got that. The crowd liked that too.

It tied in perfectly with Bishop Jakes' message about his new book, Let it Go, and his message about Joseph and all he endured when his brothers dogged him out for being the favored one. But Joseph still practiced his gifts in prison, and in Potiphar's house, and he didn't let any bitterness stop him from his destiny.

"Then..." was the all important turning-point word that showed trouble don't last always.

So the part where we say with all evil contempt...

"What you meant for evil, God intended for good" should really be looked at in the context of Joseph trying to comfort his brothers when they really found out who he was. Not trying to dog them out and lord his position over them.

Be careful how you treat people when you're over them, Jakes said, because one day, they just may be over you and you may need to come to them for help.

This really lined up with what I've been reading about forgiveness, and trying to make amends with people we've harmed.

(Seriously, my Seeking Him study challenged me on this point.  What, am I supposed to track down the guy I dogged out in college and seek his forgiveness? Not necessarily, but the author suggests praying that if God wants you to apologize to specific people, that He'll make a way to put them in your path. And you're not responsible for their reaction. If they choose to hold onto hate, that's their loss.)

Anyway, I like the whole premise that Bishop Jakes talked about as I struggled to stay awake through my medicated "fog" (favor of God!) watching the service on my iPad 2.

He said that even if people who've wronged us don't apologize, just let it go. Just like Jesus prayed, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" -- some people only represent instruments of Satan -- darts that the enemy tried to use against us.

Pawns in a game.

Unfortunately, the same role we may have played knowingly or unknowingly when we've hurt others throughout our lifetimes.

And thusly, I'm sure some folks may say my swollen jaw is a bad result of bad seeds sowed lately -- heck, I questioned that myself, they wouldn't have to say it -- but deep in my gut, I know God's favor is all over me.

I've prayed for folks I've wronged to forgive me, and those I haven't correctly sought forgiveness from, I'm trusting that they'll be brought to my presence or words as needed. And as for the ones who've wronged me, I've let it go.

Maybe I should lay off those imprecatory prayers as of late...

"You're special," my husband said when I told him this kind of medical reaction only happens to 1 or 2 out of 100 people, echoing my sentiments.

Yes, that's it -- the prophecy from Bishop Jakes was that God is doing something so great for us in 2012, that He's throwing a high ball, and we need to release -- let go of -- all the hate and unforgiveness and stuff proverbially being clutched in our hands that happened at our old jobs or churches or relationships or wherever so we have enough room and free hands to catch that high ball He is tossing our way.

"You may have to move to catch it," he said. "You may have to run to catch it."

I'm ready.

Help me Jesus.

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Paula Neal Mooney