Meeting the Father in Seasons of Loss - Part 3
Clear the Slate
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32
As my husband's stroke was massive, he was unable to speak. There was no opportunity for quiet whispers of communication between us. I had hope for a different outcome as he began recognising people and things. That night as I was leaving, despite the web of IVs, exerting great effort while using the only arm he could move, my husband did his best to give me a hug. That hug spoke volumes. Such joy and sense of completeness filled my soul. I felt reunited! I'll never forget that embrace, my husband's final expressed act of love toward me. We were restored.
I share this intimate memory because of the love our Heavenly Father has for each of us. The Father reached out to communicate how loved we are. So costly is the love the Father extends to us, that we might be forgiven and reunited to Him. Joy and complete restoration are made available to us.
Having been forgiven of our own sin, how can we keep from forgiving others of their trespasses against us?
Do you find yourself running circles in self-condemnation (I woulda, coulda, shoulda), or do you access forgiveness made available through the blood of Jesus? Do you justify your anger against well-meaning, but clueless people trying to comfort you, or do you forgive them? (A week after my husband's funeral, someone said to me, "All better now?") Do you nurture bitterness like some small, lost animal (how could you leave me liked this?), or do you forgive?
Forgive, whether you feel it is deserved or not. God released us. We didn't earn God's forgiveness, but we received His forgiveness from our self-filled filth. We need to extend that "embrace" and freedom of forgiveness to ourselves, others, and even our deceased loved ones. It's time to clear the slate.
Jesus, thank you for giving us forgiveness we don't deserve. Thank you for restoring fresh opportunities day after day. Your forgiveness never wears thin. When our hearts are right, even when speech is impossible for us, you generously forgive. Thank you. Help us to love and to forgive as you love and forgive. Thank you for freedom from the chains of unforgiveness. Thank you for clearing our slates.