Illumination Thursday

The Seas Turn


          Two days ago, I received some upsetting news. A colleague who has made life hell for me for some years now had been appointed to a senior position. Even being just one of us, the poison of jealousy she carried within her has wounded me and many others too. Now, with the promotion given to her, it was as if a fully loaded gun had been put into her hands, and we had become sitting ducks, with no one to speak up for us, to protect us from further unfairness and even worse bullying.

          I felt betrayed. Even though there is no such thing as being deceived by God, it was impossible not to feel let down by heaven. I felt as if all the messages and words from heaven given to me were a sham. Yet, knowing that could not be true even if it sure felt that way, I went before God and bared my heart to Him.

          Why did You give me hope if it was going to come to this? I asked. Why tell me a new life was coming if that new life was just another hell?

          Just then, my husband needed to go to the store to pick up something and I decided to go with him to clear my mind; but not done with God, I remained in the car as my husband ran into the store.

I need your suffering. Would you deny Me this, asked Jesus, just as I was about to get started again.

          I groaned. I felt God was asking just too much. Still, I tried to pray. As I was about to search for a prayer, someone slipped a line into my mind.

Thy will be done

          Not in a million years, and with the news I had just received about my colleague, would I have sought that prayer. But someone clearly felt it was the prayer for my moment.

          Thy will be done, I prayed numbly and resignedly, for nothing in me wanted this Cross.

          My husband was taking longer than expected. Staring out of the windscreen at the dark skies, a distant memory came to me – a journey God had taken me on some years ago with the Bible verse,

Let the prisoners’ sighing come before You,

with Your great power free those doomed to death. ~ Psalm 79:11

          At that time, God had let me see that a bully from work was actually a prisoner. Slowly, He had moved me to pray for this person. Although it was so hard, solely by the grace of heaven, I somehow managed to.

          More shoppers were arriving now, parking their cars in the lots around me. Vehicle doors were being slammed shut, trolleys were being pushed across the road. But inside the car, I was on a journey. Today, I am that prisoner, Lord, I whispered in my heart. I am trapped in a place I cannot leave, with no option to resign because we need the money. People were getting into their cars and driving away. Mothers, fathers, children. Let my sighing come before You. I am doomed to death, so free me.

          Just then, it struck me that July was the month of the Precious Blood of Christ. Years before, in a mystical moment in church, God had taught me a powerful prayer,

Replace my blood with Yours

In the ensuing years, I’ve prayed that conversion prayer many, many times – for those who have hurt me – and for myself as well, because in times of anger and suffering, pride can sometimes blind you to the truth of who you truly are, making you believe that your sins are not as bad as the sins of those who are hurting you.

          So, in the car, I reached for that prayer once more.

Replace her blood with Yours, I prayed for my colleague.

Replace my blood with Yours, I prayed for myself.

          But, oddly, this time the prayers didn’t sit right. And immediately, I knew why: I was not being open and honest with God. I was praying – but from behind the wall of my hurt and fear.

          So, I lunged out into the open fields before God’s eyes, and prayed a prayer  wrenched from the depths of my pain.

I bind her to Thy Precious Blood!

Bind her so she can do no harm to anyone any more!

          Suddenly, something shifted. I felt the prayer shoot upwards like a fire arrow and pierce its heavenly mark. At the same time, I myself was pierced by a sudden and heartfelt humility, that as much as my colleague could wound and maim others, so could I, so both she and I needed His Precious Blood.

I bind myself to Thy Precious Blood. Bind me so I can harm no one.

          That night, I slept deeply and beautifully. Rising the next day, no burden remained inside me. None of the fear or anger. None of the immense hurt this colleague has knifed into me. My inner house had been cleared.

          The next day, I reached for the same prayer again. But the power was gone. Where before I had felt the prayer was received by heaven, this time, all was still and quiet. Interiorly, I sensed that the time for this particular prayer had passed. In peace, I surrendered my seeking, knowing that if there was another prayer to be prayed from the heart, God would send it to me.

          That evening, a massive rainbow arc formed across the eastern skies and my heart thrilled to its moving luminosity.

Hope on, the skies seemed to call out.

          Today, at my altar at dawn, on Illumination Thursday, I prayed for a miracle as I always do. Except that this time, I was not specific. I realised that I didn’t know what exact miracle to pray for. Nevertheless, I looked up at the Crucifix on the wall.

Give us the miracle we need, I prayed and left.

          Just before 12pm, the earth shifted. This colleague came up to my table, the first time in 4 years. With a gentleness not seen in 4 years, she placed some documents before me. In an unbelievably gentle voice, she told me what she needed from me and that I could see her whenever I needed.

          When I am stunned, I either lose my ability to speak or I do something stupid and clumsy. But this time, something took over, coming over me and and leading my voice out. I quietly congratulated my colleague on her promotion. At this, tears came to her eyes and her voice caught in her throat as she gave a small laugh at what she had received unasked. We both knew that promotion or not, it was a job she did not want and which she possibly hated but that she had no choice.

          I will likely never know why the seas shifted within her, why now and not before. But I do know that just when it seemed all was lost and that life was set to plunge into darker depths, through a massive and unbelievable Thursday miracle, the Precious Blood of Jesus has set us both free to start over.

          I will never be the friend and kindred spirit I was to her before. Even with complete forgiveness, I have seen and felt the side to her which seals any door to real friendship. That time in the past when we were closest friends and laughing mates has passed and we have both moved on. Some things lost can never be regained – and should not be sought.

        Yet, it was a miracle that turned the seas today and freed us both.

        A miracle wrought by the Precious and miraculous Blood of Jesus who died so that sinners might be saved.