(Someone texted me last week and asked where they could find a devotional of this incident. I searched and searched, and I couldn’t find it. Is it possible that I’ve failed to write about something that important in my life? This is actually really great timing for me to revisit this testimony since I am at my denomination’s campmeeting in Missouri where the event took place years ago.)
This year, as I walked onto the campground, a flood of memories came to my mind. This is my 27th year at the Wesleyan Holiness Alliance campmeeting in Missouri, and it seems like there is a lot of history for me. Times of victory. Even times of depths of spiritual despair. Memories of fellowship and friends. And yes, also lifechanging services.
One year, something happened that exposed an injustice that had been done to two of the people I love—my husband and my mother-in-law. It wasn’t one of the small things in life. It was big!
I could feel their grief. It seemed that I couldn’t swallow the huge lump in my throat. My mind screamed, “It’s not fair! It’s not fair!”
I wanted to protect and make things right for these who I love so much! But I couldn’t. It felt so wrong!
That night I went to our cabin with my mind still in a turmoil. The rest of my family went to sleep, but sleep was far from my mind.
I was on an awful merry-go-round that I couldn’t get off. “It isn’t fair! Look at what was stolen from them!”
Finally, I got out of bed and left the cabin. The hour was late, and the campground was quiet as I paced up and down a sidewalk, battling things out.
“It isn’t fair! It isn’t right!”
I was still in full protection mode. But I also knew that I was in trouble. The feelings I had were not right. I had been wanting something from God and had been seeking before all of this. Now, I had feelings of grief that were on the verge of bitterness. I knew I had to do something about them, but what? I was being consumed!
I started pleading with God. “God, I can’t stop these feelings, but I can take sides against them.” I told God that I believed that if I would take sides against my feelings and do what I was able to do, that He would do the rest and deliver me.
My mind was still being bombarded. “It’s not fair!” something yelled.
“No!” I answered in my mind. “I will NOT think about this!”
“It’s not fair!” The thought came back.
“No,” I answered, taking sides against it. “I refuse to go there. I won’t think about that!”
I have no idea how long I fought it out on the sidewalk until I finally went in the cabin and went to bed.
The next morning, I went to service, still fighting but believing that if I did what I could do, God would take care of it.
I sat in church reading the 58th chapter of Isaiah.
In my side by side Bible, I could see that the amplified talked about putting away “the finger pointed in scorn” and that then your light will come. You will call, and the Lord will answer. He will say, “Here I am.” This chapter says that you will be fed and given the “heritage of Jacob your father.”
God made it plain to me that if I would put away my finger pointing out the wrong done, He would give me the heritage of holiness of Lewis Smith my father.
I stood up during that service and read these verses to the congregation. I told them that God wanted me to put away my pointing finger and get this heritage.
The next thing I knew, God had dropped down on me. I was out of my seat, shouting in the aisle! I was running back and forth on the platform with victory!
Later as I was rejoicing, I realized…it was gone! All of the feelings! All of the battle! All of the pain and the grief! Gone, totally gone!
One of our Oklahoma pastors, Bro. Charlie Cunningham, came to me later smiling, and said with his drawl, “When you were on the platform, I thought you probably didn’t even know where you were.”
“Oh, I knew where I was,” I answered. “I was in victory!”
There have been moments in my life when God gave me spiritual ground over a process of time… but not that day. I came in with a load and walked out with it gone!
In the years since this incident, I had moments when the offending person’s name came back up, and I had a choice. God told me, “You can pick this back up if you want to.”
I don’t want to ever pick that situation back up!
Since that day, this promise from Isaiah has been mine!
Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Isaiah 58:14