Setting Sarah Free
I met Sarah for the first time when I walked into the office of a pastor friend. Tom asked me if I would help her work through her forgiveness issue. At 59, Sarah’s furrowed brow and grooved frown lines flashed pain like neon lights—she had been hurting for a very long time. I introduced myself and assured her I was there to help. I told her that nothing she said would shock me or affect what I thought of her. It would, however, affect how I helped her. With that she relaxed and began to open up and tell her story.
Almost immediately I felt as if I needed to apologize to her, because I was shocked. What she described to me was one of the most appalling stories I’ve ever heard. When she was three years old, her parents repeatedly sold her into prostitution. Even though it all started fifty-six years earlier, she recounted every detail. By the grace of God, at the end of our time together two hours later, she confessed her unforgiveness and forgave the people who violated her in such a horrific way.
I asked Sarah, “How’s your heart?” She said, “I can’t believe it. I am really tired, but my heart is calm.” Using her hands to illustrate, she continued. “For as long as I can remember, my heart felt like someone was constantly wringing it and squeezing it. It has never been at peace before. Now it is at peace.” And we could see it. The change in her countenance was unmistakable.
Forgiveness works! Sarah was free. But she needed help to get to that point—a midwife to assist with the process. Her sensitive pastor observed the signs of unforgiveness and took action by requesting my assistance in escorting her into freedom. Together we helped Sarah find peace. That night, for the first time in her memory, she was able to sleep without nightmares. Not one disturbing dream has interrupted her sleep since. She is at peace!
It doesn’t matter what the violation was, unforgiveness about it brings torment, but forgiveness brings freedom!
PRAYER: Father God, reveal to me where the miseries in my life are rooted in unforgiveness. Help me find forgiveness through Your grace.
“And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses,” Matthew 18:35-36 KJV.
Today’s devotional is by Bruce Hebel, Pastor of ReGen Fellowship in Tyrone, Georgia, Adjunct Professor at Carver Bible College, and President of ReGenerating Life Ministries. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and has served in ministry for over 35 years.