For some of us there are times, circumstances, or events that have taken place in our lives that are devastating, horrible, or just plain unforgivable. At least we think they are unforgivable. We end up walking around, living our lives with animosity, anger, bitterness, or hatred and our hearts are so heavy from the burden that we feel like an over loaded pack mule climbing a mountain. The weight is so heavy at times we can feel like dropping to our knees and staying put.
That’s exactly where we need to be! On our knees before the Lord God Almighty asking Him to forgive us. Why us if we are the victim? “Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and He will deliver you.” Prov. 21:22
My previous post, “Once upon a time…No fairy tale here!” is a testimony of just such circumstances I have lived. For many years I was burdened with a heart filled with hurt and anger. What was done to me for a major portion of my life could be considered unforgivable.
After accepting Christ into my life I began learning about forgiveness. “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 I wanted my heavenly Father’s forgiveness but that also meant I had to forgive the people who had harmed me. The major one being my earthly father. Ohhhh did I have a problem with that! Forgiving others seemed to be easier and came more quickly but forgiving my father was going to be a long difficult process.
“But love your enemies, do good to them…” Luke 6:35 I took care of my father for many years. I saw that he got to doctors, cleaned his home, I cooked meals and delivered them, and eventually had him in my home for a short time caring for him. I still had not forgiven him and the Lord dealt with me about that.
Once I was able to truly forgive my father and come before the Lord asking His forgiveness it was as though the saddle bags, back packs, and truck loads of hurt and anger that had been my burden for so many years was lifted. For the first time I could look at my father and not despise him. All the glory goes to the Lord for in my humanness forgiveness could not have been given.
No, I don’t have amnesia. I remember what was done and those that have done it. Forgiveness does not mean we forget what was done. It means it doesn’t control us. I have forgiven them all and walk with a free heart. Hurt and anger do not control my life any more. When the enemy, the devil, raises his ugly head, I stomp on it!
Forgiving someone who has cut you off in traffic is much easier than forgiving those who have grievously harmed us. When we are able to forgive it opens our heart and the Lord can work within us and through us. By showing Christ’s love through praying for my father, caring for him and forgiving him, (to his face) my father ended up asking Christ to forgive him and to be his Savior twenty-four hours before he died at eighty-seven years old!
“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth.” 1 Timothy, 2: 2-3
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and not this from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Eph. 2:8
Author Sue Cass – See “And my pen wrote”