I never thought I would have trouble forgiving someone. I have always had the ability to say I am sorry and also to accept an apology. This is the first time in my life that I am troubled by unforgiveness. This is the first time that a circumstance struck such the wrong cord with me that I just can't let it go. It's a whole different story when you are hurt by someone and they don't have the ability to say I'm sorry.
This instance happened quite awhile ago but for some reason I still can't shake it. Just when I think I have gotten over it, I am reminded of the situation in some way and all these feelings of hurt, bitterness, and unforgiveness come creeping back into my heart.
I bring this up because of a recent bible study that I attended. I have been going to this bible study for quite awhile, and this particular day I did not want to go. It was a beautiful day outside and I was more drawn to the idea of playing outside with the kids and enjoying the sunshine. I ended up going, and now I know I was supposed to be there.
We are studying Genesis and this day we were talking about Joseph. Genesis 45-46 is the story of when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, the brothers that sold him into slavery. There was a famine in the land and because of Gods hand in Josephs life and his ability to interpret Pharaohs dreams, he had stored up food to preserve them through the famine. Joseph was made governor over Egypt and his brothers came to find food and ask him for help, not knowing who he was. In his position of power he could have done whatever he wanted to these brothers that betrayed him, instead he says three times to them in this story, "But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life."
That's why I am so shaken up by this, if Joseph can let go of the fact that his brothers threw him in a pit, sold him, and told his dad he was dead, I should be able to let my issue go.
I know I needed to be there during this talk, but during it and even now I somewhat wish I hadn't gone. I now have to confront this uneasiness I have in my heart. In someways it would be a lot easier to hang on and harbor this issue rather than deal with it. Forgiving someone that has hurt you is a battle that is not fun to fight. But a battle that is beginning within me.
The ironic thing is the woman teaching the bible study, and the one God was using to speak to me, reminds me and has always reminded me of this particular person I am struggling to forgive. They even have the same name, not kidding!! This is probably one reason I never enjoy listening to her teach, she has always irritated me a little because of this comparison. Funny how God works!!!
In the beginning my attitude towards this whole thing was that I didn't want to forgive her, I didn't want to have a reason to let this go. I wanted to not like her and keep this bitterness in my heart, it felt good. It only felt good for awhile and now, not so much. I know that for me this journey of learning how to forgive someone, in a way I have never been confronted with before, has begun. I am being tested in an area I never new I was weak in, but I am so weak.
Lord my prayer is that you would help me to let this go and teach me how to forgive. You forgive us no matter what and I want to be able to forgive this person that has wronged me, because I know you already have. Teach me how to love those that are the hardest to love, teach me how to love like You!
Colossians 3:12-14- Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering; 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. But above all these things, put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Are you harboring something that you need to let go? Have you forgiven someone who has wronged you and now feel the freedom of forgiveness?