“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
Dave Coleman was one of those friends for me. He was a man of immense wisdom, rock-solid integrity, and deep love. I don’t know why he took a liking to me, but he’s one of those friends where the conversations always go deep, and the affection builds over a lifetime. He helped me discover how to live the life behind He Loves Me and was my co-author for So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore.
More importantly, he was there when I was betrayed by my co-pastor, giving me comfort and counsel that steered my heart into a better reality than I might have seen otherwise. He was there through the lawsuit over The Shack and encouraged me to find my home in the truth and not worry about the lies being told of me. And two summers ago, he held my heart through the rejection of a lifelong companion that came out of nowhere.
A few weeks after we talked, he sent me this prayer and admonishment. This was August 2021, still eight months before Sara’s trauma exploded. I wish he’d been there for that, too, but he passed away in November of that year.
May the Father, who is rich in mercy, speak kindly to your heart and comfort you with the thought that the only way out of this is to lay it at the foot of the cross…. with the prayer, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Do not allow your accusers to stifle in any way your message of God’s love. Just allow this experience to increase your urgency and your compassion and, above all, to deepen your dependency on His grace.
Those words have been taped to my computer since receiving them. There is so much in those words that have held my heart, even through the painful days of last spring, as if Dave were comforting me from the grave. Why am I sharing them today? Over the last few days, I’ve found myself sending them to almost a dozen people who needed to hear those exact words in their context. I figured others might need to hear a similar word for their heart. It is as true for you as it continues to be for me.
It’s a beautiful thing for the Father, who is rich in mercy, to speak kindly to your heart and to comfort you at the foot of the cross where the only way to liberate yourself is the prayer of forgiveness in recognition that most people doing hurtful things have no idea what’s motivating their behaviors. And when the Accuser, even in the other voices he uses, tries to erode your confidence in Jesus’s work in you, it’s time to lean in more with more urgency and depend on his grace.
Good news! The renovations on our home are nearing completion. This has taken a bit longer than we thought it would starting out, but this is Sara’s dream. To see it come together now as a place for us to live a life we love and to share our lives with others brings a profound sense of joy. Sorry, no pictures yet. We will in time, but much still needs to be cleaned up and completed.
So, we’ll be moving and settling in over the next couple of weeks. Don’t look for much new stuff here for a bit, though we hope to keep the podcast going on Friday, which is the best way to follow my life these days. All that God has been teaching us and doing in our hearts have found their way into my conversations with Kyle. I can’t begin to tell you how rich these last two years have been. They have had more trouble than we thought we could bear but also a profound grace and Presence that has held us safe and opened our hearts and minds to some unique insights that have touched us deeply.
Our journey over the past 16 months will come full circle next week. We’ve been through an exodus from trauma and a home we loved, took a sojourn through the wilderness of Sara’s trauma, and the healing that came out of it in our RV last fall and our apartment this winter and spring. We will soon move onto a new land of God’s promise—an oasis for our hearts and all who Jesus sends us in this season. We have no idea what any of that means, but we could not be more excited.
6 thoughts on “Powerful Word in Times of Trouble”
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Gracias Wayne por compartir estos pensamientos, ¡cuánto necesitamos perdonar como hemos sido perdonados ( y lo seguimos siendo) , en Jesús.
Que la paz de Dios sea contigo y tu Esposa en este tiempo de cambios.
Un abrazo fuerte desde Alicante (España).
Translate: Thank you Wayne for sharing these thoughts, how much we need to forgive as we have been (and continue to be) forgiven, in Jesus.
May the peace of God be with you and your wife in this time of change.
A big hug from Alicante (Spain).
Thank you, Alicate. Much love and blessings to Jesus’s people in Spain.
Sometimes it’s hard to her such wonderful words of encouragement when it “seems” there is no way out. All the “If I had only…”‘s make you wonder if you’re where you are at, is only because of your choices…. Will Jesus show up if you haven’t done your part….
THANK you Wayne for those words..” Forgive them, they don’t know what they do..”.praying in the foot of the Cross, giving Him our shit and ,He, giving us His mercy … I wish I had a friend like yours, Like Colman, to share what God gives me… a deep relation that help not to feel alone in our God’s Journey, but, in a way, Sara and you have been those friends someone needs to keep on going ahead, even if we’ll never meet in real…those words of yours comfort me to keep Faith in God’s LOVE and grow in intimacy with my Father..Thank you for putting into words the deep feeling I had that God is Good and that His way of loving us has nothing to do with human’s love…Now, I feel secure in His Love for me..I know, this is His Spirit that revealed me God’s Love for me, but knowing that other people have done the same experience of Him as you have, then it just help …thank you for keeping in touch regularly with those words..
This message could not have reached me at a more opportune moment than this. I sat here in the car after my dear wife just expressed her total incomprehension as to why one would even dare to think critically about the established order that is called church.
I have so moved beyond that. Yet she thinks my otherness is about opposition to the church order. Its not. It’s the daily journey of living loved. It’s the freedom of the Gospel of God’s amazingly incomprehensible grace and the inclusion of all.
When the message of God’s love grabs your heart and you get excited about the vastness of freedom that comes with that reality, you will soon realise that this new shoot of growth will experience huge obstacles, as the enemy knows that his lies aren’t holding you anymore. Family will be used to stifle the joy. The wonder is that we react with love and compassion and pray that they see what we are seeing.
This has brought such encouragement to me.