When I think about forgiveness, you don’t have to convince me that I need to forgive – I’m already on board with that. The tricky part for me is the actual forgiving. Here are some tips that might help you:
forgiveness isn’t a feeling. Consider the Corrie Ten Boom quote, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
forgiveness in the greek means “to let go or release”: when we forgive, we release the hurt, bitterness, judgment & pain
proficient forgiveness requires practice
forgiveness must be kept fresh – stale forgiveness can grow putrid in our emotions and thoughts
Here’s a cool & short video that could be helpful: forgiveness
There is a chick who followed Jesus who always takes my breath away: Mary of Bethany. I love watching her because of her devotion to Jesus & her authenticity. The first time we read of her, she’s sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him – a place reserved for men who were learning from a teacher, not women who weren’t deemed as worthy to receive education nor instruction. Mary should’ve been helping Martha in the kitchen, doing domestic stuff. But Jesus applauds Mary & says that “this one thing won’t be taken from her.”
Mary’s devotion to Jesus is tested when her brother Lazarus dies, even though Jesus could have prevented his death. Mary is extremely upset by Lazarus’ death & it seems to me that she let her emotions prevent her from seeing her brother raised from the dead (John 11).
The final time we read much about Mary is when she is washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, drying them with her hair & anointing Jesus with costly oil. Her love & devotion to Jesus were nothing less than authentic & extravagant. May I love Jesus as Mary did
From time to time, we all face hardships, struggles and difficulties. Sometimes we face calamaties that are nothing less than totally overwhelming and understandably, we all want to get out of these difficulties. Simply put, we want deliverance fromthese situations. Even better, we’d like to be spared from these things. But as we both know, life doesn’t always stay in the utopia zone. Sometimes we have to go throughthe hardship & struggle. When this happens and we aren’t delivered fromthe struggle, then we can most certainly trust that God will give us exactly what we need to get to the other side – strength, wisdom, comfort, genuine love . . . . The Trinity is enough.
In my opinion, a relationship that has any degree of depth needs to be able to work through conflict, tension, disappointment, misunderstandings, challenges, etc. I sincerely believe that the deeper the relationship, the more we must be willing to work through such struggles & I don’t think that our relationship with God is any different. I think that our relationship with God is as deep as we are willing to wrestle: no wrestling, shallow depth; much wrestling, much depth. My examples for this thinking are in Job & Jacob who strenuously wrestled with God, not without some impairment.
So with this in mind, when (not if) we get mad, disappointed, frustrated, misunderstand God, let’s not sweep these feelings & thoughts under the carpet. Let’s maintain an open & honest dialogue with God because the depth with God is worth way more than the dialogue, conflict, etc 😀
I’ve been thinking about going through some difficult times & situations which aren’t very fun. If you’re like me, I tend to want to avoid these difficulties. However, when I think about Joseph in Genesis, he went through some extremely ugly situations – sold into slavery, unjustly accused, imprisoned, ignored & more. Nevertheless, even though he went through lots of “uneasy” & uncomfortable, he didn’t quit & decide to take an easy path.
But many times, what is not easy, is essential to realize God’s potential for our lives. So if you’re in a non-easy season or situation, be encouraged that God is cultivating your potential for something really amazing!!
There are things in me that I don’t like. I don’t like that I’m selfish, i dont like various insecurities that are tiresome & there are several more things in me that I’d like to be adjusted as well.
I’ve been thinking of these things lately & as I was reading Rom 5:3-5 this morning, something really struck me. It seems to me from these verses that there are several ingredients that are essential for the sustained changes that I want, 2 of which are essential: hardship & endurance. Indeed, I can see in my life that there are many good results from the combination of hardship & endurance. So I’m reminding myself to celebrate the process & journey to these changes that God is working out in my life 🙂
This has been a pretty amazing trip so far with lots of different experiences & feelings. It’s been completely outrageous getting to have my family around, ministering, enjoying the culture with me & watching them fall in love with this fantastic country and people in their own unique ways. It’s interesting to watch them individually process the various experiences, challenges & opportunities. My kids were initially put off with the massive differences & now they seem pretty relaxed & almost casual about adjusting into this culture. My husband goes into his uber friendly & curious mode making all kinds of interesting observations & acquaintances.
I like to watch all of this because everyone has their own unique ways of adjusting & enjoying these experiences. They make the trip a much richer & diverse experience for me as their mom & wife.
So today, some of them have gone touring up to Siem Reap & one of my kids is staying with me to do some more work with Saving Moses. My thought on this is that while I’m COMPLETELY enjoying my family & our experiences, I also want to be engaged with I believe is disturbing to God’s heart – giving genuine love in places of indescribable horror & evil.
Needless to say, this trip is nothing less than amazing
I just visited a slum where many sex workers live & several of them are using the nightcare facility with Saving Moses. Our nightcare provides a safe place for the babies of sex workers to receive care, love & nurturing while their moms work. I am presently trying to think & process this experience & meeting these very gracious moms. I’m struggling to find some words & to do the emotions from this time.
I have had a few people question my motive for starting nightcare , feeling that I was encouraging the loose behavior of these moms (enabling their adulterous & disreputable profession). My answer to these concerns is that I’ve never met a woman whose first choice to earn a living would be to have sex with multiple men in one evening in exchange for money. The moms I met today put skin, faces & names to my thoughts, as well as to the astounding need for nightcare. I am blown away
I’m presently at the eye doctor’s with my son for his first eye exam. We are in a dark room & they have him focusing, concentrating & answering lots of questions. Of course I’m sitting I the room with him & I’m pretty tuned into what they’re doing & asking him.
Sometimes I think that we are like my son right now – doing life, concentrating & trying to give the best answers that we can. In the meantime, it’s important for each of us to know that God is always present, no matter how dark it is around us, no matter how much we’re concentrating on our immediate environs & no matter how hard we are trying to do the right thing. God is always present & that means that we are never detached from Genuine Love 🙂
I’ve been talking with God recently about some situations for me that have been super difficult. We’ve had some interesting discussions & I’ve expressed some of my frustrations & disappointments to God. It’s been an interesting wrestling season of late & I’m not sure that I’ve totally turned the corner with some of my questions & uncertainties.
Nevertheless, I felt God really encouraging me a few days ago about His love for me. When I asked Him about His love in relation to some of the difficulties & struggles that I’m going through, He challenged me to know that His love for me isn’t based on circumstances or situations. Maybe you have also had this struggle – looking at the challenges in your life & asking God about His love in light of hardship & difficulty.
Just because we go through tough times, let’s never doubt His love for us – indeed, He causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him & remain true to His purposes in their lives. Be sure to doubt your difficulties before you doubt God’s love