Burned by Betrayal
Have you ever felt betrayed by a close friend? How about a business associate? A spouse? Has someone ever spread lies about you to ruin your reputation? What about having to watch — helpless — while a former friend or loved one used an unscrupulous lawyer and false accusations against you, all in the name of greed? Or, worse, have you watched your child suffer through the pain and sting of betrayal or bullying? Though hard to imagine at the beginning of an association with another person, I cannot think of anyone who has not experienced this pain in some form or fashion.
In a recent conversation with a successful business woman and fellow mom who is in the midst of a betrayal crisis, she told me this was one of the lowest points of her life. Marred by false accusations, her only recourse would be to spend millions in legal fees to fight someone else’s greed. This is all too common — just like the playground bully, except the stakes are much higher and there seems to be no recess monitor who can help.
What do we do in the midst of such suffering? Where do we turn? Prayer and God’s Word. Yes, that seems to be the quick answer so many people give to others who are suffering, but it is so true. When I am feeling despondent, I often read through David’s psalms. David was a man who knews the sting of betrayal, the pain of bullying, the feeling of loneliness. In some of his psalms, his compassion rings true, but I have often been comforted by some of the other psalms where David called out to his Advocate in heaven, the Lord. He called for God to rescue him, to seek vengeance on his enemies, and to come and comfort him. David knew how to pour out his heart to God.
Today as I did my daily Bible reading, I turned to Psalm 18. Take a moment to read it. David called God his strength, deliverer, shield, salvation, refuge, rock, and fortress. David also went on to describe God’s answer to his cries of distress. I love the language David used. He describes earthquakes, storms, lightening, and God’s vengeance upon the people who pursued him.
Yet, this is the same David who refused to kill one of the men trying to kill him — his own father-in-law, King Saul. Instead, David confronted Saul and reminded him that the Lord would be the judge between them. It was much later when Saul received judgment from the Lord and David was able to return to his home, but David kept his hope in the Lord and not in his own power.
Jesus, too, suffered the pain of betrayal. When we suffer, we can take comfort in the fact that Jesus has overcome this world and that our joy lies in what is to come. Plus, in suffering, we get a glimpse of what Jesus did for us — what he chose to do for us. In fact, my suffering mom friend said this was one of her most comforting thoughts.
I pray that the God of comfort will be with you always.