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Use The F Word

Week Three /// Brian Massey /// Solo Study

One day a woman was going for a run when she ran by a man who was rather shady in appearance. As she got closer to him, he jumped out in front of her and sprayed her with pepper spray. He then grabbed her and dragged her across the street into the woods where his car was and threw her in the trunk. Her worst fear was becoming a reality.

In the darkness of her trunk, she was feeling around trying to see what she could find. As she was reaching around, she found a roll of duct tape, screwdriver and some handcuffs. It was in that moment that she knew she was going to be killed.

In the back of her mind she could not help but to think about the fact that she has not been married yet or had any kids and was thinking that her life was to short.

However, in the midst of the darkness and fear, in order to calm herself, her first response was to sing hymns.

It was in that moment when a overwhelming sense of peace overcame her in the trunk of the car. Even in the face of a potential life threatening experience, she turned her fears into praise and chose to press in and lean into her God who never would leave her, even in the clutches of a dark trunk.

As she continued to sing the man driving the car began to hear her songs and prayers. He then turned up the radio to try and drown out her worship. However, there is nothing can drown out the presence of God.

An hour later, the car came to a stop. The man came to the trunk and grabbed the woman and threw her to the ground. Despite her attempts to escape, she was unable to make it free.

She then asked him this question: “Are you working for the devil?”

He looked back at her in confusion. “No,” he replied.

She then made this declaration: “God is with me.”

After this conversation, she was tied up and thrown back into the trunk of the car for another 45 minutes. When the car came to a stop, they arrived at a house. She was taken to an upstairs room in the house, handcuffed to a bar on the bed and was brutally raped.

When all was over, she was placed in the backseat of the vehicle. At that time, her attacker made a strange request.

He asked her to sing.

She began to sing Amazing Grace in the car. After singing this beautiful hymn, her attacker dropped her off in a parking lot near her college. There she called the police. Her attacker was caught the next day, but she was left with sadness, scars and pain.

She was angry. She was both physically, emotionally and spiritually hurt. She could not believe that this would happen. She felt helpless and hopeless.

And yet it was in that place of brokenness that God showed up and did what only He could do: healed and restored her.

A friend told her that God loved her and wanted to heal her. It was at that time in her life that she finally realized what that truly meant.

It was in that moment that she gave her heart to the Lord.

It was in that moment that the Word came alive in her.

It was in that moment that she felt God leading and guiding her to forgive the man who rapped her.

It was in that moment that she was reminded of Jesus on the cross.

That moment when Jesus was being crucified that He prayed, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

That was her prayer for this man.

It was after that moment that she started praying for her attacker.

It was in that moment that she started to have her anger replaced with peace.

It was in that moment that her pain began to be released.

“Only God can do that,” she said.

Her attacker was given the maximum sentence. Two years into his sentence, he asked the Lord into his life and to forgive his sins.

She found out from a news reporter who was doing a story about inmates that her attackers now ministers to others in the prison. When she heard this news, she began to worship and thank God that He had answered her prayers.

What the enemy meant for evil, God turned into good.

The first time I heard this story, I was left in disbelief that this depth of faith could exist. I cannot imagine the amount of crippling fear that must have been with her in that trunk.

The amount of faith that it took for her in the midst of this unthinkable situation to choose to worship the God who is above it all, is inspiring.

The amount of grace that it took to show her attacker and to pray for him is inspiring. After all, 100% of the prayers that you do not pray do not get answered.

“However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them. For that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5: 44-45, TPT)

Forgiveness sets people free. It sets the forgiver free. It also allows God to move in the heart of the one who needs to be forgiven.

This unthinkable situation is the epitome of how we are to walk through forgiveness. It is showing a ridiculous amount of grace to the person/people who has hurt us the most.

It is deciding that your freedom from the bitterness and anger is greater than the chains and bondage that unforgiveness holds. It is praying for God to move and to do what only He can do.

However, it is something that must become a habit. That habit is prayer. Prayer is the engine for change.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18, ESV)

It is time to let go of your anger.

It is time to be free of bitterness. That is not how God has designed you to live.

It is time to stop, drop and pray. If that person is your spouse, ex, family member, whoever, it is time to forgive them.

Jesus should and needs to be our model. We need to follow the example of the one who chose to forgive the people who were literally killing Him.

He did not come for us to live our life in captivity. He came that we may live “life and life abundantly” (John 10:10). It is time to live in freedom.

What are you waiting for?

REFLECT

1. Write down the words or thoughts that come to your mind when you think about bondage or captivity. What does that prevent or hold you back from doing?

2. Write down the words or thoughts that come to your mind when you think about living in freedom. What does that allow you to do?

3. Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

If there is freedom in forgiveness, what are you believing God for? What wilderness or desert do you need to God make a way in?

4. Who do you need to forgive? Write down their names and stop, drop and pray for them.