Call out to God in pain and sorrow. He will answer us. We may not see him. We may not even hear his words, but he hears us. He will give us comfort in times of sorrow if we remain grateful and faithful to him.
Most of all, God grants peace to sinners. When we make mistakes, he forgives us. He loves us. He made us. He wants to be close to us. The biggest challenge is finding the strength to forgive ourselves.
In this Psalm 4 story, a girl finds the strength to forgive herself through an unexpected conversation on her phone.
The Unexpected Answer
A teenage girl laid on her bed crying into her pillow. She cried for what felt like hours until finally she leaned over and picked up her cell phone again.
She looked at the screen. Still no response. She was in the middle of the biggest fight she ever had with her best friend. The crying teenage girl lied to her friend and she didn’t think she could ever be forgiven again. She thought everyone would hate her.
“Oh, just answer me! Somebody, please?” she cried.
A tear dripped down onto the phone. Suddenly, the screen lit up. A message appeared, but it didn’t look like a normal text message. In fact, the screen didn’t look like the normal screen at all. It looked more like a scroll.
The message read: Have peace my child.
The girl was confused. “What is this?” she said aloud. Then she started the text message conversation with her phone.
Girl: Who is this?
God: You called and I answered you.
Girl: Seriously. Who is this?
God: Although you cannot see me; you know me. I am the one who saves. I am the one who sets you free.
Girl: Free from what?
God: That pain in your heart is trapping you. It closes you in like a prison cell. In me you will find freedom from the pain.
Girl: How? What do I need to do? I said sorry to everyone and they won’t forgive me.
God: I forgive you.
Girl: Okay, but how does that free me?
God: You are already free. Now, you have to forgive yourself.
God: Forgive yourself. You are free.
Girl: I don’t deserve it.
God: Yes, you do. I made you. I know you. You are forgiven. Forgive yourself.
Girl: But I’m not worth it. People hate me.
God: Forgive yourself as I forgive you. Have no more tears.
Girl: But what about the things I did and said? Will my friends ever forgive me?
God: They are in pain, but forgiveness will set them free in time.
Girl: How long will it take?
God: They will forgive on their own time. Forgive yourself and you will be able to welcome their mercy.
Girl: What do I need to do?
God: Are you sorry?
God: Do you want to change?
God: Do you know that I forgive you?
God: Then go and sin no more. Rest peacefully and know the joy of my mercy. Others will show mercy, too, on their own time.
Girl: Thanks. I guess?
God: You are forgiven. Forgive yourself.
The phone changed back to the blank screen.
The girl typed a text message to her friend one last time before going to sleep:
Girl: You have every right to be mad. I deserve it. I’m sorry. I hope you can forgive me.
With that she silenced her phone and laid down to bed. She was strangely happy. She wasn’t worried about the friend’s response. Whether her friend ever forgave her or not was out of her control.
She fell asleep sure of one thing: she was worthy of forgiveness. God gave her his mercy. She had forgiven herself and would wait in joyful hope that her friend would some day forgive her, too.
The next morning see saw a text message from her friend. It read:
Friend: I might have overreacted. We’re good. Let’s hang out later, okay? xoxo
“Answer me when I call, my saving God. When troubles hem me in, set me free; take pity on me, hear my prayer. In peace I will lie down and fall asleep, for you alone, LORD, make me secure.”Psalm 4:2, 9
- What did the girl need freedom from in the story?
- How did the messages from God in the story help the girl find freedom?
- When have you had a hard time forgiving yourself?
- Who do you need to forgive right now as God forgives you?
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