Being an older woman, I really don’t consider many of my experiences unique to the world. The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes that “there is nothing new under the sun”. I believe that we all struggle with the same issues over and over again, that life goes on and on, full circle, over and over again. The happenings, the emotions, the motivating factors are all the same. It is really just the people, places, locations, names, ranks and serial numbers that change.
At some point in time I realized that I was not alone. I believe that there are many people/women who have gone through what I have gone through in life.
Today is Thanksgiving day! I believe that we all probably have our plans or “non” plans made. There won’t be a lot of surfing on the internet today, at least not in the U. S.
I was just thinking about the fact that not too long ago (maybe a year or 2 ago) that I dreaded the holidays. I don’t know where that dread originated. I don’t know when it all began, but yesterday when I was reading during my quiet time, God gently reminded me that the dread in my own heart had disappeared!
I am not anticipating this year’s Thanksgiving with dread, I am not worrying about where the money will come from. I am actually looking forward to spending time with an “adopted” young family who God brought into our lives several years ago. We are in Albuquerque today and we love Albuquerque and we love this family!
It amazes me that God does this sometimes, He brings people together, who would not have normally been together to fill in the gaps with one another, when we didn’t even know that gaps were there in the first place.
We had the need to be loved, accepted and wanted by the generation that our children are a part of and God brought that to us in them. He has brought us other people, too, and created a family of sorts on this earth that we were not “born” into in the physical sense. I can’t apologize or be anything more than grateful that He has done this for us.
One of the things that used to pop up with me over and over again during this time of year was bitterness that was in my heart and unforgiveness towards a few people…hmmm, maybe a lot of people.
It seems with me, that when I allow a little bit of unforgiveness into my heart towards one person, it quickly avalanches and I start thinking of a lot of other people whom I am or have been developing unforgiveness towards. Before I know it, I am looking at everyone around me and thinking about what I hate about each one of them and what specifically they have done to hurt me!
I was reading yesterday about Corrie Ten Boom, a woman who had much to forgive. She was also a woman who forgave those who victimized her and who carried a testimony of this simply important ingredient in Christian living.
Actually, this is an important ingredient in any living. Hate and desire for revenge will destroy even the strongest of people.
I have been living a life of forgiveness this year. There is nothing more freeing than to forgive as opposed to holding grudges.
In the Bible Colossians 3:13 says:
bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Ephesians 4:32 says:
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
We each have the opportunity to love our enemy/ies and choose forgiveness towards even the most ruthless of them.
Forgiveness does not excuse the offense.
Hate hurts the hater more than the hated, no matter how justified that we think it is.
I entered a worship gathering a few weeks ago and was overwhelmed with some new resentments that had begun to carry. I was becoming critical of people all around me. I just closed my eyes and looked toward heaven and confessed it to God. I told Him that I could not carry them anymore. In my mind’s eye I saw some cute little birds fly down from heaven, they were much like the little birds in the Disney version of Cinderella who helped her get dressed for the ball. They took each corner of those resentments and lifted them off of my shoulders and then flew upwards towards heaven until they disappeared.
Even though it was all a spiritual experience, I physically felt that a great burden had been lifted off of me!
If we can’t let go of every angry grudge then God will do it for us. He will show us within our own spirits the moment He does it. All we have to do is tell Him that we can’t do it and He will take control from there. God’s love in our hearts enables us to show forgiveness that is undeserved. It ultimately allows others to see God’s infallible love in our own fallible human skin.
Those of us who are Jesus followers read this…
When we forgive someone and release real or imagined grudges, we look more like Jesus than at any other moment in our life.
May we all face this holiday season with forgiveness in our hearts…