In case you were worried I had a big head after you read my last post, I'll knock myself down a few notches for you (The truth is I can't wait for Beth's "So Long, Insecurity" book to come out, and for the simulcast at the Ridge on the 24th...... but I'll save that post for another day...).
God has put a lot of people in my pathway in the last year that are struggling with forgiveness. He's let me listen to nearly a dozen people recently that are having a hard time forgiving someone that's hurt them. People that they work with, people that they used to be friends with, people that they love. He has filled the silences I've shared with those people. He's been in the tears I've shared with them. And He's given me the words that come from my own journey of forgiveness.
I was beginning to think that my struggles of forgiving people in the past (as recently as six months ago), was to use me to help others through that process.
I had read a book that said "You know you've forgiven someone when you think of them and don't feel anger or hurt. You feel pity. You pray for them." I was there (I still am) with so many of the people I've had to work at forgiving. I thought I was doing pretty good....
But. He isn't finished with me yet.
"But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept." Genesis 33:4
You see, when Esau had been hurt deeply by Jacob, he didn't just forgive him...
.....he embraced him.
He was hurt by Jacob. He was in mourning.
"Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4
He was in mourning and he was comforted. He let go of his bitterness and was set free. His heart was made whole.
It wasn't enough for him to forgive Jacob. Forgiveness alone is not complete. Forgiveness is about the past. Healing is about the now. Is about the future.
We. need. healing.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted..." Luke 4:18
He was sent here to do much more than help me to forgive. He is here to heal me. Here to give me life to the fullest. Here to make me whole.
And He's here to do all of that for you too.
Lord, I recognize my brokenness. I recognize my vulnerability. I see that I'm not living life in full like You have planned for me when I merely forgive. Lord, lift me up. Hold me close to You. Take away the pain that's still there. Put back together the shattered pieces. Give me life to the fullest like only You can give. I need You. I love You. Amen.
note: If you are in the same week of the Esther study as me, you may be wondering how this ties in.... It doesn't directly.. but last week as Haman was begging Esther for his life, one of my sweet Esther sisters asked if Esther should forgive him. If Esther should give him another chance. We talked about how we are to be Christlike and how that fits into our lives. I realized I have forgiven people but I still keep them at arms length. I was (okay am) following Proverbs 4:23 pretty literally and wondering if I'm following it too literally. The following Sunday (two days ago), Pastor Mike was talking about Esau and Jacob. I have a lot of "Jacobs" in my life I need to embrace... Which brought me to the above post....