Today’s Scripture: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
Made famous by a Pulitzer winning prize photo taken during the Vietnam War, Napalm Girl, Kim Phuc, was in a morgue for three days. She was left as dead due to the severity of her unsightly burns until her mother found her and nursed her back to health. Years later, Kim attended a university in Saigon. There, the communists used her as a propaganda tool, and she fell into such a deep depression that she considered taking her own life.
Before following through with her plan, she found a Bible at the Saigon Central Library. Astounded at Jesus’ claim to be the Way, the Truth and the Life, it was difficult for her to think that she was beloved and worth pursuing. At first she rejected it. Eventually, she came to faith in Christ, and God began to work on her heart to forgive those who had burned her.
She said, “I would wake up in the morning and sense a familiar bitterness eclipsing my thoughts and prayers. And so, I would simply pause and take a deep breath and call unto the Lord, ‘Oh God! Please show me things I do not yet know about how to truly forgive those who I presently despise’.”
Little by little, instead of muttering curses, she began to pray for all those who abused her. As time went on, she realized that her hate list had become her prayer list.
I read that story in my father’s new book Lead, and it really spoke to me. The hardest prayer to pray is one of forgiveness for someone that has deeply hurt you. Like Napalm Girl, you may have been burned physically or emotionally. Your heart does not need to remain in bitterness and despair. If Kim can forgive her enemies, you can too. Seek the Lord and bring your enemies before Him in daily prayer. Let Him free you from the pain through the power of forgiveness.
Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.