37 Years of Fear

I came across a 6-day reading plan on YouVersion that is worth rereading over and over. The reading plan is called “Turn Your Wounds To Scars” by Vijay Thangiah. Day 4’s devotion touches on the importance of learning how to forgive in order for wounds to become scars. For a biblical example of someone putting this into practice, Day 5’s devotion goes to the end of Genesis. Take a guess at who the example is.

If you said Joseph, you’re correct. Joseph got wounded by just about everyone in his life. He bore many scars. Yet, he is lifted as a great example of forgiveness because of this statement to his brothers in chapter 50:

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

That’s a statement from a scar, not a wound.

In all my readings and hearing messages about this passage, I’ve never heard the following statement that was in Day 5’s devotional:

His brothers on the other hand had never been able to forgive themselves for the wrong that they had done to Joseph and were constantly living in fear. So 37 years after they threw him down a well and having lived under his gracious care for 20 years, once their father Jacob dies, they are still afraid that Joseph will seek revenge against them.

What this portrays is the weight we carry when we don’t understand or practice how to forgive ourselves. Joseph’s brothers were not afraid because of a recent act. Their fear was 37 years old. That’s a long time for the enemy to wreak havoc.

That havoc, unfortunately, may not live in just one heart. It may leak out into many relationships resulting in many wounds that have nothing to do with the original wound. 

Your healing is possible. And it may actually start with you forgiving you.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Felix Koutchinski

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