Daniel and Joseph were held captive against their wills. In Joseph's case, he had to forgive his brothers for betraying him first of all. Then he had to forgive Potiphar's wife for lying on him and putting him in prison for something he didn't do. He was kind of a double captive. Nonetheless, he had to come to a place to forgive.
For me, I chose to forgive the young man driving the vehicle who caused the wreck that injured my son. At first it was easier really. Then over time it became difficult and was just a choice, but not a true action of my heart. I've had times I was angry with him. He got to go on living, graduated college, playing the drums, getting married, teaching - like my son wanted to do. But unforgiveness doesn't bring my son back - nor does it make my life any easier. Day by day it's a choice to not carry bitterness or a grudge. I'll be the first to admit it ain't always easy.
But on top of forgiving the person at fault (if there was one) the caregiver has to forgive God. This may be one of our biggest hurdles. Ultimately, it's His fault we are caregiving, whether we are caring for a child, a parent or someone else. If we believe God is truly in control then at the bare minimum He let it happen. This was a very tough spot for me for a very long time.
Eventually though, I forgave God. I found that unless I forgive Him, it's very difficult to trust Him again. But you know what? If we can't quite find that spot on any given day - we can express it to Him. He is big enough to carry it. I usually tell Him exactly what I feel, how angry I am at Him, how frustrating life is, or how disappointed I am with how He orchestrated life. And so far - He hasn't fried me down to my toenails - and chances are He won't.
I believe He honors a heart that is honest with Him. He is strong enough to carry our loads; and us as well. He never kicks us to the curb, but patiently waits for us to pour out our hearts before Him. I'm sure Daniel and Joseph had their moments. They had to; they were in some very tough circumstances. Let us learn to pour our hearts out before our King in open honesty. When we trust Him with the worst - He amazingly fills us up with His grace.
Today I'm going to rejoice in the fact that I don't have to hide my true feelings from God. I can talk to Him one-on-one. I can pour out all the bad, and good, things in my heart before Him and He will refresh me as I wait on Him. My efforts today will be to be bluntly honest with God. I'll turn my thoughts to the grace He supplies when I really pour it all out before Him and trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?
As I read your post Jeanie it struck me like a bolt of lightning I haven't forgiven the people who caused my wife's accident. Setting here thinking to myself what a bag of worms this has opened up.lol They allowed their dog to run loose and caused my sweet wife to flip over the handlebars of her bicycle causing a catastrophic brain injury and altering our life forever. Bitterness would have swallowed me whole if I didn't have the hope of eternity with our Lord. My wife will be whole again.-BUT- After the fact I discovered that the dog was a know nuisance, the neighbors had complained multiple time to the owners to keep the dog in check, there was a leash law in effect that they completely ignored. Their disregard for anyone but their own convenience should have consequences. I will spare you all the other details of the case but can one separate the consequences ( punishment if you will) and forgiveness ? God forgives us yes but He doesn't protect us from the consequences our own stupidity. Anyway kind of wrestling with that in my spirit this morning. Thanks for your postReplyDelete
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I wish I could say that forgiveness is easy - but we all know it's not. Especially when something like this goes on and on with no end in site. Some days - I find it easy to have compassion on the kid who was driving when my son was injured, other days I have none. I'm finding forgiveness to be an ongoing exercise - not just a one time event. Thanks for reading and sharingReplyDelete