“15 Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord,
who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?”
16 You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,“You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”?” (Isaiah 29:15-16 NIV)
I may not be “old,” but I’m old enough to have witnessed God’s amazing grace in my lifetime. I was reminded many times that God really is my vindicator, and I wanted to share one I had yesterday.
Well over five years ago, I met a person who was a bit (meaning very) mean-spirited. She was the sort of person who likes to be nosy, be critical, and downright haughty. Even from the moment we met, she was overtly interested in my love life (so that she could gossip), and I was disconcerted by her audacity when phrasing her questions. At one point, this nosy shrew went so far as to team up with my roommate at the time (who herself was no blessing) to find something to gossip about. My roommate would keep track of when I was leaving the room. One day, they asked me if I were dating so-and-so, and when I denied it (even though we sort of were), they said someone had taken pictures of us walking hand-in-hand and has posted in on their Facebook group page. I was so dumbfounded as to why someone would bother doing such a deed that I didn’t bother to ask them to show me the proof. Since my roommate was conniving enough to be firm in the location which the picture was taken, I was cornered into making some excuses on the spot, but clearly the damage was done. I only found out a year later that such pictures never existed and was shocked by their deceitful methods.
Needless to say, I kept my distance from both of them over the years despite having mutual friends. This, of course, didn’t stop their false, malicious attacks on my character, but I was able to ignore them best to my abilities. By now, so much time has passed and I’m out of the hell I was once in that I had pretty much forgotten about their very existence. Then, yesterday, I received a text from a friend. His text began with so many “LOL"s that I had to scroll down many emojis to read why he was so amused. Apparently, the nosy shrew had pretty much whitewashed her image when she joined a major corporation. She pretended to be a sweet-natured ingenue, a quite opposite from her schooldays when she was a sarcastic know-it-all (who doesn’t know much). Obviously, as time went on, she got tired of putting on a mask, and as it slipped away, everyone realized what kind of person she was. As she works with people who are much more talented than her and far smarter than her, she’s not in any position to manipulate them or bully them into doing what she wants. They saw her exactly as I did, and since the rumor of her behaviors spread to our mutual friends, they now know that I wasn’t the weird one to distance myself from her.
God allowed me to witness many moments of vindication like this one. Some took mere months to come to pass, while this one took years (nearly six years to be precise) to take place; but regardless of the time they took, I’ve been through enough of them to know that God WILL be your vindicator if you let him be. But while you wait for your justice, there are two key traps you should be aware of.
When your vindication is not coming as quickly as you want it to, you may be tempted to feel frustrated and want to take measures. Let me remind you that there may be a purpose in this delay. In one of the most famous prayers in the Bible, David prays that “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:5 NIV) Notice how God refrained from destroying your enemies until the right time; he kept them around to witness YOUR anointing with their own eyes. So don’t be impatient. You will never have to lift a finger to avenge yourself or resort to their methods to give them the taste of their own medicine. God WILL be your vindicator.
Even if you ARE patiently waiting on the Lord, there may be those around you, even your closest friends and family, who try to convince you that “you must have done something wrong” to have received such treatment. Please don’t fall for their words. It doesn’t matter how closely involved they were in the situation, only you know the mindset you had when you interacted with these mean-spirited characters. If the aggressors were the sort of people who paid your kind gestures with evil manipulations, THEY were the ones who did the wrong here. Even if the people around you may mean well with their words, they’re not God. Remember story of Job who lost everything he once owned? His three friends who were so supportive and empathetic of his sufferings were convinced that HE must have committed a great sin to deserve such harsh sufferings. They also meant well, but they were wrong. If you know deep in your heart that you don’t deserve to be treated the way you’re being treated, you don’t have to feel like God’s punishing you for whatever deed you’ve done by delaying punishment on those who did you wrong. God WILL pay them back, but only at the right time: at HIS time.
Thank you RCC, you are adored here and thank you for writing to us. God always has a plan.