Returned to Sender
By Cheri Cowell –
Have you ever been hurt so badly you thought your heart was ripping from your chest? I have. As I began to heal, I thought I was doing the right thing by praying for those who hurt me. After all, isn’t that the best form of loving your enemy? One night as I prayed for my enemies, and felt quite good about myself, I heard God say, “Notify sender, mail returned.” You might be saying God doesn’t return prayers. Well, He might not, but He got my attention. Over the next few weeks God showed me that my pious attitude when praying was not what He was looking for. I learned God didn’t mean I was to pray for my enemies to be changed, repent, or come to understand their guilt. I instead was supposed to pray that God would bless them. Yes, I said bless them, and in blessing them they would have their eyes opened to His love.
Peter must have been thinking about his own unworthiness as he wrote the words found in today’s scripture. In the face of such love how can anyone not feel compelled to react with love? The sympathy described is one that has no room for selfishness, for true forgiveness is about refusing to repay evil for evil. And yes, instead, offering blessing.
PRAYER: Thank You, God, for never returning my prayers, and for patiently teaching me how to pray in accordance with Your will. Search my heart and help me see things that need to be changed when it comes to dealing with those who have wounded me.
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:8,9 KJV).
Today’s devotion is by Cheri Cowell, who writes and speaks on topics of Christian discipleship. In addition to her books and articles, you can learn about her speaking ministry and sign up to receive her daily devotional at: www.CheriCowell.com