WHAT DO YOU DO AFTER HUMILIATION?
And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord. Genesis 13:3-4
What do you do after you’ve been humiliated? After you’ve fallen from grace? Perhaps you’ve wronged someone deeply and the thought of facing them again is too painful. Instead, you go into seclusion and avoid them.
Uncertainty plagues anyone about to give an apology. History proves that not all are forgiving. The propensity to hide is well founded as past apologies haven’t gone well. Some people never let you make things right and forever hold your sins over your head. Even if you’ve made restitution, they’ll be quick to remind you who you were twenty-five years ago. This is emotional cruelty.
It’s difficult to separate God from this mix of fallen humanity. Does God forgive every time, even after repeated failures? Yes. Does God get weary of sincere apologies? No. Does He get as excited to see me return to Bethel and call upon the name of the LORD as He did the first time I built an altar? Absolutely. No matter how many times people have failed me, God’s loving-kindness remains is never in question. In spite of how hard I try, I cannot fathom the love my Father has for me. I must embrace scriptures about His love and ask Him to write them on my heart.
After Abram’s disgrace in Egypt with the Pharaoh, he doesn’t decide to throw in the towel. He travels back to Bethel, the place where he met God the first time and built an altar. This is the site of his spiritual homecoming and he is quick, upon arriving there, to call upon the name of the LORD. There is no record of shyness.
I must separate the actions of people from the actions and character of God. I must if my faith is to survive. People’s love is imperfect. I have many scars to prove it. I still have a scared heart where certain people are concerned. I know they are judgmental and immovable, even certain Christians, unfortunately. But God is not like that. No matter where I’ve gone, no matter what I’ve done, no matter how long I’ve been gone, I can always go back to Bethel.
On the other side of repentance, You will never keep reminding me of my sins. I can live in the joy of forgiveness. No one loves like You. Amen