She was the kind of friend we all long to have: fun, loud, encouraging and affectionate. She hugged everyone and once she knew you by name, you could expect a big ole kiss on the cheek every time she saw you; it’s just who she was. One day she came to me with concerns, valid ones. They were raw and honest and she seemed genuinely worried. I agreed with her, prayed with her, we fasted together and shared our hearts on what these concerns were doing to us on the inside. We were hurting.
Then it happened. She took the concerns straight to the people we were praying for and attached my name to them. Only, she added some accusations and painted a picture that demonized me to them. They didn’t ask questions, they didn’t open it for discussion, they simply cut me off; all of them, even her.
I couldn’t believe it happened. I couldn’t understand why it happened. I couldn’t even address it with her. There was an opportunity where making me look bad made her look big…and she took it. Relationships were destroyed, ministries were dismantled and the pain still lurks.
Matthew 26:48-49 (NIV) Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
Jesus knew the bite of betrayal. He knows that ripped open feeling the heart endures as it’s left torn and devastated. He felt it. What makes betrayal so painful is that it never comes from who we’d expect. It comes from the ones we greet with hugs and kisses because we’re that close. They are our people.
So what do we do when we’re left in the ruins of hurt and loss? Where do we go with our shock and confusion?
Jesus took the very betrayal that cost him everything and walked it down a long, painful road to the cross. He didn’t walk around aimlessly, he made a choice: to take his pain to a place of purpose- a place of healing- a place of restoration. We can walk around hurt or we can walk our hurt to the one who can heal. God honors our pain when we bring it to Him.
Luke 23:34 (NIV) Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
Then, he did a very hard thing: he forgave. There was a truth that gave him strength: people will fail us but God will not. Judas wasn’t just part of his story. Without Judas, there would be no cross. Out of the worlds greatest betrayal came the worlds greatest blessing: salvation. We serve the kind of God that not only repairs the broken pieces of our hearts but makes them better than they were before.
“I’m better off healed than I ever was unbroken.” -Beth Moore
Here’s a promise we can rest in today: there is always something to be salvaged from the ruins of betrayal. In fact, what doesn’t break us, makes us. It’s not just part of our story, but the very thing that gets us where we’re going. And as for people with a Judas heart, they always end up hanging themselves.
Jesus, thank you for being there in my deepest pain. Thank you for providing a place for me to go with my hurt. Will you talk to me about the shattered pieces of my heart and the person who is responsible? Speak the deep places of my soul. Take what’s broken and make it beautiful. Make it sing your praises, Lord.