Such a thing can’t be possible. Heck, some might think the very thought would be blasphemous. God can never betray anyone. It’s not in his nature.
Then again, how does one define betrayal? Is it when we expect God to do what we want him to do, and he instead does the exact opposite?
In my previous entry I described the complaint against me. What I didn’t get into was the time in between and the spiritual conflict that ensued. In fact, I wrestled with God quite a bit about it.
Prior to the commission meeting and being anxious about speaking before the commissioners, I had prayed God would give me peace of mind and the words I needed to say.
When I was done, and even during, I did feel confident, and several commented later about how well I did.
Why, then, did those words I thought God gave me end up being used against me? Why did God not only say no to the prayer, but allow it to be almost a complete failure, the consequences being a permanent mark on my professional record? What did God want to achieve?
Is it not at least understandable that I would feel a bit betrayed?
Even as I struggled with God, I also struggled with myself. I knew in my head that God did not betray me. I knew he had a greater purpose than to merely be convicted by my own words.
I also knew I simply didn’t understand yet.
Far be it for me to compare myself to any of the biblical greats, but I did feel a bit like David when he penned Psalm 22:1-2:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? [M]y God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.”
I had to keep remind myself to keep reading with verse 3:
“Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.”
Also in Psalm 22 is this little nugget (v 19): “But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!”
Once I agreed to the reprimand and the ethics class requirement, I was invited to the board meeting where they would vote on the order. I prayed for two things: For God to either give me the right words or to shut my mouth during the meeting.
Also attending was the complainant and two others. They were given an opportunity to respond to the board’s decision. They each stood up and basically read me the riot act. The details are irrelevant at this point, because of what God did during the meeting.
One of the board members asked if I wanted to respond to their comments, and I merely shook my head (God had indeed shut my mouth).
I also felt an invisible wall between me and the three men as they went after my character. Not only did I not say anything, their words had absolutely no emotional impact on me. I simply looked them in the eye and listened. I knew that wall was God coming to my aid, to make sure I didn’t take their words personally, and to not let this episode completely destroy my confidence.
In the end, even as grateful as I am, I still don’t completely understand why God allowed everything to happen the way it did. Nonetheless, I learned a valuable lesson: to always be aware of my words and to be as clear as I can so there’s no misinterpretation or inferences.
That’s not to say I won’t fail again, but hopefully it won’t be due to me taking for granted everyone will know exactly what I mean without being clear enough.
Regardless, God didn’t betray me. Quite the contrary. He merely gave me a little bit of rope, and I took it and hanged myself with it. That’s not his fault or his responsibility.
He also stood by me the entire time. I just didn’t (refused to) notice until afterward.