Joyce Meyer - The Danger In The Painless Path
We're talking about the healing of the soul. You are a spirit, you have a soul, you live in a body. We can all see your body, but we can't see what's going on, on the inside of you. And you know, we all get fairly good at pretending. And lots of times we act like everything's just fine, when really nothing is fine. And sometimes, we even get pretty good at pretending to ourselves, and we've got a pretty good size mess going on in our life, but we've gotten so good at ignoring it that we've just kind of learned to live with it.
I wonder how many people live a much lower level of life, as far as joy and peace, than what's available to them, but they've just been in that condition so long, they don't even know there's anything wrong with it. You know, you can be dysfunctional so long that you learn how to function within your dysfunction. And you don't even realize that there's a better life available to you. But I want you to know that Jesus said, "The thief comes only, only to kill, steal, and destroy". But, Jesus said, "I came that you might have and enjoy your life, and have it in abundance to the full, until it overflows".
We call our daily TV program, "Enjoying every day life," because I don't think that Jesus saved us just so, we could be miserable until the sweet day when we go home to heaven. I think that eternal life starts the moment that we receive Christ. And I think it hurts God when we don't enjoy the life that Jesus died to give us. And we are so work accomplishment oriented in our western society, that I think sometimes we forget after God worked for six days creating everything, he rested. And so, Adam's first full day on the earth was a day of rest. And we just, we get it upside down. We glorify work over everything else. And of course, we should work and not be lazy. But God wants you to enjoy your life. He wants you to enjoy yourself. He wants you to enjoy your family, your kids. Don't just raise your kids. Enjoy your kids. Don't just be married to somebody, enjoy them. The Bible says that a wife should enjoy her husband. Amen? Amen?
Well, you guys were way too quiet on that one. Maybe I better back off and try that again. The Bible says that a wife should enjoy her husband. Thank you. And you need to enjoy yourself. You have a home take time to enjoy it. Don't just gripe because you got to clean it all the time. Enjoy it. Like I said this morning, if you hate your job, then go get one you can enjoy. Don't spend your life doing stuff that you hate. You've only got one life. How about making a decision to live it? How many of you need to enjoy your life more than what you do? You know, we don't want to just exist and drift from day to day, and just be in this survival mode all the time.
You know, when I was growing up, I basically just tried to survive every day, and I looked forward to the day when I was 18 and could leave home and hopefully have a happy life. But I thought when I walked away from the problems that I grew up in that I didn't have a problem anymore, but I really just took it with me. It was etched in my soul, and it was adversely affecting every single area of my life until I started, not "Just going to church on Sunday," but actually, being a "Full-time" serious Christian. You know, there's a big difference in just going to church on Sunday and really being committed to learning how to live the life that Jesus died to give you. Can I say that again? I think somebody watching by television needs to hear that. There's a big difference in just going to church, putting in your time, getting your check mark on your church calendar. There's a difference in that and really being serious about your walk with God. And being committed to really learning how to be Christ-like, and to live the life that Jesus really died to give you.
Now, I want to talk to you for a minute about the painless path. You know, getting hurt hurts. But oddly enough getting well hurts too. You come to a point where it doesn't hurt anymore, but part of the reason why so many people stay broken is because there's also pain in the healing process. You know, you can injure yourself and the injury hurts, but while you're in the healing process, it still hurts. Doesn't it? So, I want you to understand if you're one of these people that decided with me this morning that you're ready for a life upgrade. You want to not just be here and breathe, but you want to have the life, the best upgraded life that Jesus died to give you, I'm just going to be honest with you and tell you that it's not just going to all be easy. For one thing, to get well, you have to face a lot of things about where you're at.
Jesus said, "If you continue in my word, you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free". Well, it's not the truth about somebody else that's going to make you free. It's the truth about me, facing a truth about me. That I had problems. That I was manipulative and controlling. That I was insecure, no matter the fact that I acted bold, really way down deep inside, I was insecure. Being honest with yourself, about yourself is the bravest thing that you can ever do in your life. You see, God knows you and he loves you anyway. And you need to learn how to know you, and love you anyway. I don't like everything I do, but I do like myself. I actually, think that we are insulting God if we hate ourselves, and refuse to have a good relationship with ourself because we're not the epitome of the perfection that we think that we should be.
Jesus didn't die for perfect people. He died for people that are imperfect and will continue to have some imperfections, 'til he comes back to get us. The Bible says, "He didn't come for those that were well, but he came for those that were sick". Amen? And so, I qualify for help from God, and you do too. But in the natural — it's just the way we are — our flesh is always going to look for a painless path. And so, that's why I want to just be clear with you that if you really want to get well, there's going to be some challenges to it. And it's not going to happen super quick. It happens little by little. God changes you from glory to glory. But the good news is if you're on your way to full recovery, at least you're on your way somewhere. Did you hear me? And that's better than just being stuck nowhere?
There's two kinds of pain we can talk about today. The pain of change, or the pain of never changing. And you know what? The thought of staying the same is really scary to me. I mean, it just makes me shiver to think that I could still be the way that I used to be forty-two years ago. Now, there's been a lot of pain getting from there to here. Oh, but there's been more joy than pain. And I certainly, am glad that God gave me the grace to not give up. And you have to keep in mind that every little bit of progress you get, you can then share that progress with somebody else. People need to see people overcome. They need the courage to realize, "Well, if you can do it, then maybe I can do it".
And so, here's a quote by an unknown author that I think is good. "What comes easy won't last. And what lasts won't come easy". Amen? There's a saying my husband's always had, "Fast and fragile, slow and solid". What comes together fast can also come apart fast. But what is built slowly, can become solid. I don't know if you've noticed it or not, but God's not in a hurry. Has anybody realized that? God's not in hurry. You know why? Because he's more interested in quality than quantity. Amen? Don't get stuck in the trap of just trying to see how much of your Bible you can read every day so you can feel proud of yourself. God would rather that you stare at two verses for an hour and get something out of it, than to read seven chapters and not know what you read when you got done. Of all the people we need to stop trying to impress, it's God. Did you hear me? Because he knows us.
So, quality over quantity. Don't be in such a hurry. We need to wise up. Just, stop looking for everything to be easy. We need to toughen up a little bit and be willing to go through whatever, we need to go through, to have what we say that we want to have. You know, a lot of people are jealous of successful people, or they're jealous of people that I don't know, stay in shape. And you know, still look good in their 40's or 50's, or whatever. Or you're jealous of somebody's home, or jealous of somebody's job. Or maybe you're old enough to retire, and you don't have hardly anything, and you're jealous of people that you know, that have got this nice income level now at retirement. We need to stop being jealous of people that are blessed, if we don't want to do what they did, to get what they've got.
Moment of truth. I want to make sure you understand this, 'cause I don't want to be telling you things that aren't true. If your soul has been severely damaged by abuse, rejection, loss, abandonment, long-term illness, or anything else the journey back to wholeness won't be easy. It's not just going to be, "Boy, I went to that conference, and listened to two sessions on healing the soul, and I'm all put together now and everything is fine". No, it is easy for you to sit out there and clap and cheer for everything that I say, and you can clap and cheer every time I tell you about every victory that I've gotten. But, my victory won't give you victory. You have to still go through the same things. All anybody can do is light the way, but you still have to walk the walk.
Bible says in Ephesians 2:10, God said, "I have laid out a good path for you that you might walk in it". Jesus paid the price for us to have a good life, but we're going to have to get up off our little bottoms and do what he tells us to do. And it's not all going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it. Being miserable all the time isn't easy either. Amen? I mean is anybody tired of putting all your energy into being miserable and being mad, and you'd just assume now, turn that energy around to doing something that's going somewhere. Amen?
All right. Narrow path, broad path Matthew 7:13, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel". See, I love that. "Easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss". Look at that. How good that is. "The broad path is easy to travel but it leads to destruction and loss and there are many, many, many people who enter on that path". If you get on the broad path, you will never be lonely. There will always be lots of people on that path. "But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to everlasting life, and there are few who find it".
Let me tell you something. Pain almost always means progress, especially if it's the kind of pain that we're talking about today. The pain of making right choices. Let me tell you something. It's hard to be nice to somebody that's not being nice to you. Come on, do I need to say that again? It's hard to forgive people that have hurt you. It's not fun to pray for your enemies. That's the thing about spiritual wholeness. It's about doing what God tells you to do, whether it's easy or not. Do you suppose that what Jesus went through was easy? I don't think it was. In the garden of Gethsemane, he was under such pressure he sweated blood, so we could have the opportunity to sit here today and hear what we're hearing.
I'm here to tell you, that no matter what's happened to you, there's hope for your future. There's not much good news out in the world, but there's good news in here today. Today, I have good news, your sins have already been paid for. Matter of fact, here's the fun thing. God has already done through Jesus everything that he ever needs to do for us. It's already been done. We're not waiting for him to do it. It's already been done, and he's waiting for us to believe it. There's nothing that can keep you from having a great life, if you're determined to take the narrow path, and do what you need to do to have it. But it's not all goin' to be easy. I don't think that God's anointed us for easy. I think we have the anointing and the power of the Holy Spirit in our life for hard things, for difficult things. Somebody without God, can't have trials and tribulations and stay happy, but we can. Come on, I said we can, because we've got somebody on our side.
Galatians 6:9, says, "Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good". Don't get tired of doing what's right. You may have to treat somebody right for a long time before they ever treat you right. Let me say it again. You may have to treat somebody right a long time before they ever treat you right. But here's a secret, let's stop doing what we do, to get a right result from God. Let's do what's right because it's right, and let's do what's right for God. Therefore, we can be committed to doing what's right, as long as we're here and leave the results in God's hands. And I hope I get a lot of reward right here. But if I don't get all my reward here, I know I'm guaranteed one as soon as I'm finished here.
Has it occurred to you lately that eternity is a long time? Forever is like a really long time. And I think we need to spend most of our time now preparing for there. And I hope that everything in my now time turns around and boy, I wish I could just feel fantastic every day, and nobody would ever give me any trouble, and everybody would love me, and nobody would ever reject me, and that would just be cool. But you know what? It's not going to happen. But by the grace and mercy of God, I hope that I can continue to respond to every one of those situations the way Jesus would because I know that even if I don't get my full reward here, when I cross over, it's waiting for me.
How many of you really believe that you're going to live forever? Okay. You know romans 14 says, "The times gonna come, when every man will stand before God and give an account of his life". I'm not gonna to be asked to answer for somebody else, so I don't need to worry too much about them. I need to take care of myself. Come on, now. If you're doing what's right... we worry too much about what everybody else is doing. "Well, you should be doing this, and you should be doing that, and you should be doing this, and you shouldn't be doing that". Well, let's get concerned about us. I want to make sure I'm doing what's right. "Be not weary in well-doing. Don't get tired of doing what's right, for in due season," whatever that is.
We get so encouraged about that, and we don't know when that is. At the appointed time. What does that mean? I mean, when I was waiting for God to do a lot of the things I was believing for ministry-wise, it was back in the days were there was a pretty big outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And there were a lot of people that came through the church and they prophesied to different people. I couldn't even begin to tell you how many times somebody pointed me out of an audience and said, "The Lord says unto you, be not weary in well-doing for in due season you shall reap if you faint not". The first few times it excited me, then I got tired of hearing it. Because I realized that I still didn't know anything, any more than I knew before. But one thing you can be assured of, when God knows you're ready, whatever it is that he's been preparing you for... Come on. I said, whatever it is that God's been preparing you for... when God knows you're ready, no devil in hell can keep you from getting it.
So, why don't you just settle down enjoy the journey. Because there's not anything that any one of us is going to do, is going to make God hurry. When we're doing what's right and it hurts, that means that we're making spiritual progress. Think about that. Spiritual maturity requires obeying God when it's difficult to do so. We get so excited when we hear the word free. Man, I tell you. Free conference. Free books. Free... you know what? Whoo. I don't know if they still give away too many free resources here in the meetings. Do we still do that Matt? No, we don't do it as much. You know why? Because Christians will just about kill each other to get a free book.
I mean, I am not kidding. I mean, if you want to get mobbed, you just stand up here and say, "I've got a few free books to give away. Who'd like it"? And people will just about kill one another. And it's not because they can't afford the book. We just love free. I mean, we just think we're really getting by with somethin' when we get somethin' free. Free. But you know what? What's free to you, somebody paid for. Come on. Salvation's a free gift, but Jesus paid for it. It cost him. This conference was free to you, but our partners around the world paid for you to come and just sit here and enjoy yourself this weekend. We do that because we want you to come and hear the truth, because we know the truth will make you free. And we believe then, that you'll be transformed into somebody who wants to give to the kingdom of God to make good things happen for somebody else.
But don't fool yourself. There's really nothing that's free. If you've gained a bunch of weight and you need to lose it, you're gonna have to be hungry. Well? And don't waste your money buying the fat melting pill off TV. Because there is no such thing as doing nothing and getting a right result. Come on, that's just not gonna work. If you got yourself deep in debt, now you're going to have to really scrimp and maybe do some extra work and do without some stuff for a good period of time, don't think you can just go have somebody lay hands on you and pray for you that all your debts are going to disappear. Come on, let's act like we've got a little bit of brains, anyway. The painless path is not the best one to look for 'cause even if you found it, you wouldn't find that it will take you where you want to go.
We like quick fixes, don't we? Our prayer is often, "Lord, make me patient and please do it in a hurry". I think this is good, you know, a mushroom can grow overnight. Has anybody ever one day your yard looks fine and the next day you got a bunch of mushrooms in it? But a large oak or a giant sequoia takes a long time. Let me ask you a question, you want to be a mushroom or a giant tree of righteousness? We got a lot of mushroom Christians. Come on. There's no scripture in the Bible that compares us to a mushroom, but Jeremiah 17:8 says, "For he will be nourished like a tree planted by the waters, that spreads out its roots by the river: and will not fear the heat when it comes: but its leaves will be green and moist. And it will not be anxious and concerned in a whole year of drought nor will it stop bearing fruit".
Now, come on, that's what God wants, not a mushroom that pops up overnight and somebody comes along and mows down. He wants us to be people that are rooted and grounded in God. I mean, he wants people that have gone deep in God, deeply rooted and grounded in Christ and in his love, and in the principles in the word of God. Therefore when there's a storm going on in your life, you're getting your nourishment from something that other people can't see because you've got roots that are somewhere that are still drawing nourishment that keeps you bearing fruit. Come on, in a whole year of drought you don't stop bearing fruit because you're not getting your life source from your circumstances, you're getting it from something deeper than that.
Do you want to be a mushroom or a tree of righteousness? You can get a bumper sticker and throw it on your car and hang a cross around your neck, get the battlefield of the mind study Bible and carry it around with you. But the Bible says, "You'll know them by their fruit". Amen? Can you keep bearing fruit in a whole year of drought? When things aren't going good for you, how long does it take for you to get grouchy with other people? How many of you know what a geode is? Okay, not too many. Well, this is what it is. Now, you know, that's about as unattractive as anything would be. God made that, I don't... wow.
Well, you know what? That's kind of the way most of us are on the exterior. You can be a Christian and your exterior still look like that, but that's what's inside, see? So, I think that's such an amazing example. It's like, "God, you gotta be kidding. How can something look that bad on the outside and look that good on the inside"? And see, when Jesus comes into our life, all this is taken care of, but what the Holy Spirit's not doing now is trying to work what's in there to out here where the world can see it and get some good and benefit from it. Well, it's gonna be a little painful when he starts chipping away this stuff, but he's after the good stuff. You can take the table, Matt.
Diamonds are one of the most precious jewels in the world. People pay big money for good quality diamonds but, you know, diamonds are formed very, very slowly, sometimes over thousands of years. They're buried in the earth or in mountains, and they become diamonds because of high temperatures under great pressure while they're in the depths of the earth. Do you hear what I said? If you want to be a diamond for God, it's gonna take high temperatures and great pressure, a few nights in the fiery furnace.
Too many people are parked. They park at the point of their pain and they just stay there all their life. "Well, my dad abused me and I've never gotten over that". Well, you could. You could not only get over it, you could use it. Did you hear me? You can not only get over it, you can let God use it. Every single thing you go through that's hard, you can get something out of it if you want to. You know what? Most everybody who hires somebody wants somebody with experience. They'd actually rather have somebody with experience than somebody that just has education and no experience. So, you can read the Bible but until you have to apply those principles in your life, you have no experience. The Bible even talks about Jesus in Hebrews 5 and it says that the things that he experienced qualified him to be our Savior. The things that he went through qualified him to become our high priest because now he identifies with any pain that you have, he understands it.
If you want to help people, you're gonna have to go through some stuff. You believe what I say because I tell you what I've been through and so I don't have to tell you I think this will work. I'm telling you, I know that it will work. I didn't just read the book, I've applied the principles and I can tell you, for example, one of the greatest things that you'll ever do in your life is forgive people, completely forgive people who have hurt you. Now, that takes some courage. Anybody can spend their life hating somebody that hurt 'em and trying to get 'em back, but it takes some courage to give those things to God, go ahead and try to help as many people as you can, and watch God be your vindicator in life.
Come on. Don't just be some old regular normal person that just acts the way everybody acts. Let's be better than that. Let's let Jesus be glad that he paid for our freedom 'cause we're actually doing something with ourselves, amen? Whatever you're going through right now, anything you're going through right now, it may not seem fair. It may not be fair. The Bible never really says that life is fair, but it says that God is a God of justice and that means that he makes wrong things right. That's one of my favorite character traits of God is that he is a God of justice. I love to preach on that because I've watched God take wrong things that were done to me and work them out for my good. But if you want that to happen today, you've gotta have a turnaround attitude change.
Today you say, "This is the last day that I blame my problems on somebody else. This is the last day that I'm gonna waste feeling sorry for myself. This is the last day that I'm gonna spend being bitter and full of unforgiveness. I'm gonna try it God's way". Come on, "I'm gonna try it God's way, and see what happens". Don't look for that painless path.
I was driving down the street one day and I saw a no parking sign, "No parking at anytime". And right away when I saw that, God gave me a message title and for me a lot of times when I get a title, the message comes right after it. And I thought, you know, that's what people do, they park at the point of their pain and they stay there. See, I could still be parked back where I was when I was 18 being bitter, and resentful, and controlling, and manipulative, and not trusting anybody, and never being able to maintain a good relationship. But because I tried it God's way, I'm here today helping you.
And, you know, the Israelites were in a pretty good-sized mess. God was delivering them from Egypt and they got into a tough place. They had the Egyptian army at their back and the Red Sea in front of them. And they're crying out to Moses and Moses is crying out to God and in Exodus 14:15, the Lord said to Moses, "Why do you cry to me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward". So, I got a word for you today. Stop just sitting around crying and moaning about your past, and what you haven't had, and what people have done to you, and haven't done for you, and just start moving forward. Come on, get your life out of park. It's time to go somewhere.
You know, Saul was anointed king and Samuel had put a great deal of time into Saul's life. He was the one that anointed him, and I'm sure there was a lot of mentoring going on there and training him, and Saul turned out sour. He right away showed rebellion toward God and thought that he didn't have to do exactly what God told him to. He could just do a little bit of what God told him to and a little bit of what he wanted to. Now, I'm just gonna tell you right now that's not gonna work. You can't do a little bit of what God tells you to and a little bit of what you want to do and ever end up with what God wants you to have. With God, it's all or nothing. So, if you've been trying to compromise with God, do some of what he tells you to do and some of what you want to do, then today would be a good day to make a decision that you're gonna have to either go all the way with God or just probably just not go anywhere at all, you know?
Way back 40-some-odd years ago before I was really having much opportunity to teach, I had a small home Bible study and I didn't know anything and God was calling me to do something big, and I didn't have the education for it. I couldn't stop what I was doing and go off to Bible school at that time. I already had three kids and I needed to study. And I didn't have time to study 'cause I had a full-time job, three kids, a husband, and we were committed in our church. And so, I kept feeling like God wanted me to quit my job and that seemed kind of dumb because our income would have been less than our bills and, you know, your normally don't quit your job if you got more bills than you got income. You normally keep it. But I kept feeling like I was supposed to quit, kept feeling like I was supposed to quit and trust God.
There was only about a $40-a-month gap. If I quit working, then God would have to do a $40-a-month miracle for us to pay our bills and that wasn't counting anything extra, but that was just to barely make it. And Dave was in agreement, "If you feel like that's what God wants you to do". Sometimes I want Dave to tell me to do or not to do something and he'll just say, "Well, you gotta do what God's telling you to do". So, here's the funny story, I quit my full-time job and I got a part-time job. Come on now, there's a message here. I look back and I think, how funny? I was trying to obey God and still take care of myself. But see, God wanted to put me in a position where I had to trust him because he wanted to use that time in my life to prepare me for this time in my life where if you knew the amount of money we have to trust God for now every week, oh my gosh, I stopped counting a long time ago.
Everybody claps when we say we're on television in two-thirds of the world. Well, yeah, you ought to pay that bill. I'm not smart enough to know where to get that, but God taught me how to trust him for $40 a month, but I didn't want to have do that. See, we don't want to have to trust God all the way. We want to trust God but we've got always got a little back-up plan. Come on, got a little back-up plan there just in case God doesn't come through.
So, I got myself a part-time job and it didn't take God very long to let me know he meant business because I got fired from my part-time job. I was not the kind of employee that ever got fired from a job. I mean, I was a hard worker. I was good at what I was doing, and I got fired. So, it became very obvious to me that God said quit. So, you can't do part of what God tells you to do and part of what you want to do. Come on, I'm talking to somebody. Come on, if you want to have that upgraded life that you say you want to have that, then you gotta make a decision today. "Today's the day where I decide to go all the way with God. I'm not gonna be a Christian on Sunday and then go back to being a sinner on Monday".
Not gonna be a Christian when you're with your Christian friends and then be a not so Christian when you're with your not-so-Christian friends. Make your mind up if you lose friends, you're sticking with God. If you lose your job, you're sticking with God. If family members turn against you, you're sticking with God. Come on, if you're serious about this, there may be a little price you're gonna have to pay. Salvation's a free gift. Victory requires you making some sacrifices sometimes. Do you mean it?
So, Saul got himself in trouble and God decided nope, you're not the right king. And so, he lost his opportunity to be king and it really hurt Samuel because he put so much time in his life and so he was mourning Saul. This prophet Samuel was mourning over Saul. And in 1 Samuel 16:1 it says, "The Lord said to Samuel, 'how long will you grieve for Saul, when I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go: I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have chosen a king for myself among his sons.'"
Now, here's the message I get out of that. Okay, that didn't work out. How long are you gonna mourn over what didn't work? "I've got a new plan," God's saying. Come on, I'm talking to you. Some of you are mourning over what didn't work out, but God's got a new plan. Somebody ought to shout about right now. "Okay, you lost that. You've had your time of mourning, now it's time to get it out of park because I've got a new plan". Can I tell you something? God is never without a plan. And if you messed up plan A, plan B can be better than plan A ever was just because it's God. God created us to be people that are always moving forward, never going backwards. God uses very ordinary people to do extraordinary things, but you gotta go all the way through with God. You can't park somewhere that's convenient, not halfway through, not some obedience and some disobedience.
In Genesis 11:31 and 32, Terah, who was Abraham's father says, "Terah took Abram his son, and lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife: and they went out together to go from Ur of the Chaldeans into the land of Canaan," the Promised Land. So, God, told Abraham's father to go there before he told Abraham to go there. I wonder how many people God has to go through before he finally gets a hold of somebody that will obey him? Did you hear me? Maybe you've got an opportunity in front of you right now and you're not the first person that's been offered that opportunity. But when God wants to get something done, he'll get it done.
What did Esther's uncle say to her? "God will deliver his people and he's given you the opportunity but if you won't do it, know this, God will deliver by somebody else's hand. But how do you know but that you were raised up for such a time as this"? Anyway, Terah took Abram, and Lot, and Sarai, and he headed for Canaan. "But they came to Haran about five hundred and fifty miles northwest of Ur, they settled there". Come on, some of you have settled. You've settled for a lot less than what you started out for. Is anybody awake out there? Well, get this, "Terah lived two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran". He died where he parked.
I saw a movie I'm gonna recommend to you called "The lady in the van". Anybody see that movie? Nobody in here saw that movie? You saw it, okay. I watched it twice. It's based on a true story and it's about a lady who actually died where she parked. And this is a true story. Her name is Miss Shepherd. He was a homeless vagrant, lived in a yellow van for 15 years in London in a man's driveway named Alan Bennett. Now, she used to just park her van wherever she could and she lived out of that van, but she found out she could get some assistance, some government assistance, if she had an address. But she didn't have an address so she talked this guy into letting her park in his driveway for what was supposed to be for a few weeks and she ended up staying there 15 years.
And why did she live like that? Well, she'd been hurt real bad when she was young. She had actually really loved God and she joined a convent, and the sister that was in charge of the convent took a dislike to her and was really mean to her. And she was a great piano player and had a tremendous gift for piano. The sister that was in charge of the convent told her that it was something that God wanted her to sacrifice and took it away from her and wouldn't let her play and it just broke her heart. She was never the same after that. When she left the convent, she bought this old beat-up van and she painted it yellow at some point. And she was driving and she hit a man crossing a street and killed him and became like a hit and run 'cause she got scared and ran. And she spent her life brokenhearted and feeling guilty living in this van being not totally mentally sound. And so, when she finally died, she died in that van in the driveway. And the fictional part of the story shows her going to heaven and the first person she meets when she gets to heaven is this guy who she had killed.
Now listen to this, and so she'd spent her whole life, ruined her life feeling guilty and he says to her, "By the way, it wasn't your fault that I died. You didn't hit me. I stepped out in front of you on purpose". So, I just wonder how many of you have spent your life feeling guilty and bad about something that wasn't your fault. Come on now. Now, how many years did I wonder what was wrong with me that caused my dad to abuse me? What was wrong with me? Why didn't my mother love me enough to get me away from him and rescue me? It wasn't my fault. There was nothing wrong with me. If somebody mistreated you, it's not because something was wrong with you. "Well, did my husband leave me because I wasn't pretty enough, or I wasn't skinny enough, or if I would have been a better this or a better that"? Let me tell you something, when people mistreat you, it's not because there's something wrong with you, it's because there's something wrong with them.
And today's the day for you to make a turnaround and say, "I'm gonna stop feeling bad about myself because somebody rejected me. I'm gonna stop feeling bad about myself because somebody mistreated me. I'm getting my life out of park. I've been parked at my pain long enough. I'm getting my life out of park. I want an upgrade. I want the best life that God can give me and it's time for me to go forward". Well, don't be someone who just parks at the point of their pain and stays there the rest of their life. Keep moving through whatever it is you're going through until you reach the freedom that God intended for your life. Receive emotional healing and allow God to use your experience to help someone else.