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{Love Your Enemy} When the Path is Unclear

Posted on: September 21st, 2012 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment

I was freaking out. There’s simply no other way to describe it. I just received that first letter from Anthony, but I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if I should respond. I didn’t know how to respond. Again, I knew God was leading me down this path, but I didn’t know what to do next.

I needed to know His will. I needed to know what He wanted me to do. I prayed. I spoke to my husband. I called one of my best friends, all of which helped, yet still, no clarity.

Then, I called one of my pastors. “Bobby, I just got a letter from the man who murdered my dad. I don’t know what to do,” I said. I gave him some background as he listened on the other end. “I just want to do what God wants me to do, but I don’t know what that is,” I continued rambling, “I know Jesus is calling me to forgive and to love my enemy, but how do I do this? What does loving my enemy look like?”

“Laurie,” Pastor Bobby said, “loving your enemy looks like what you’re already doing. Now, simply walk in it. Keep doing what you’re doing.”

To be honest, that’s not what I wanted to hear. I wanted the ones, twos, and threes of loving your enemy. I wanted him to give me clarity on how this thing would play out and what I was supposed to do next.

But faith doesn’t work that way. At this point, I knew God promised me one thing––that following Him would lead to healing and forgiveness. Apart from that, I knew nothing. And this made me very uncomfortable. I’m the type of girl who likes predictability. I like to know where my life is headed. Yet, I was now being stretched in ways I did not want.

Rarely we are we given insight into where Jesus is taking us. As Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith is trusting Jesus to show you the way. Faith is taking that step of obedience toward what Jesus is calling you to, despite the many unknowns. Honestly, Faith is messy. It takes us to places that are unpredictable, painful, and downright scary. But oh how all this discomfort is worth it. For, we come out on the other side of these trials with a stronger, more resilient faith. Each time we choose to step out in faith, our faith grows.

I don’t know about you, but I want faith. Not just any faith. What I want is great faith. The kind of faith that allows you to step out of the boat and walk on water toward Jesus when He beacons, knowing that you can do all things through Him. The kind of faith that confidently says to Jesus, “only say a word, and I shall be healed,” knowing full well that all things are possible with God. The kind of faith to follow Jesus into the unknown––into my scary places––regardless of the cost, knowing that He would work all things for good.

I thank God for giving Pastor Bobby the wisdom to not answer my questions. Pastor Bobby saw my deeper need. He knew that I needed Jesus to be my director, not man, so instead of trying to solve my problems, he pointed me to the only One who could bring me the guidance and counsel I desperately needed.

Then, the Holy Spirit, in turn, pointed me to Psalm 23. I picked up my bible and read:

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

“Amen,” I wrote at the bottom. These words captivated my attention and gave me the ability to follow, knowing with confident assurance that Jesus was with me, that He was holding me, that He was guiding me, and that He would show me the way.

Jesus is our good Shepherd, indeed.

{Walk by faith as Jesus shows you how to love your enemy.}

Have you ever felt like you were in the dark and didn’t know how to proceed?

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