Somehow I can easily remember all my hurts. In fact, somewhere deep inside me, there is probably a clip board with a neat list detailing each hurt and its corresponding offender. Some bigger, some smaller, each with its own scar. Some are confronted, settled, talked through, apologized for & forgiven. Some, not discussed, never apologized for, but mysteriously, through a work done in me by God, they too are completely forgiven. Then, there are those, not breathed about. Not spoken. Not admitted. Certainly never apologized for. Sure, they find themselves in prayers, in silent conversations with God...but only as a fleeting thought. Once in a while, for various reasons, the container that's been subduing the monster opens and a wild flush of brand new pain sweeps through me. Immediately, all over again, Hurt is out and wreaking havoc. Its fresh. I can feel it, smell it, & remember with unrelenting clarity. I'm able to wrestle Hurt back in his container and seal the lid. Whew! That's done...for a time.
What's that I feel now? It's kinda sour tasting. I feel kinda yucky. I might be a little bit angry. No, I'm a lot angry. I'm uncomfortable. I'm tired. I feel heavy. I might be stuck. If I didn't know better, I'd think I had concrete strapped to me. What did you just say to me? Don't push me because I am exhausted. I'm not sure why...but even still...don't you even breathe wrong. Watch your step because I can get down right vicious. Just try me.
Who is that whispering? God, is that YOU? What did you just say? Did I just hear the word "Forgive"? What are you bringing that up for? Oh, that. Yes God, she and I talked that through, she apologized to me and I gladly forgave her. Don't you remember when we did that? Or are you talking about that other thing. Well, you'll be pleased to know I managed to forgive that too. Look at me...I'm a forgiving machine. You are still whispering God, what is it that I'm missing? Oh stop. Surely you don't mean THAT! I mean, really God?! We hardly ever even talk about that. How did you even remember? I don't even like to bring it up. There is absolutely nothing good about even going there. Hurt lives there God, you know that. Why must we go knocking on his door and wake him up? Ugh! Don't you love me God? Why would you ask me to do go there when you know I don't like Hurt. You know how much I avoid him. It took me a long time to even make it through a day without being dominated by Him and yet you ask me to go see Him again? Besides, I've got that taken care of. Hurt is neatly hidden away. I never breathe a word of it to anyone else. Its done. Its easier if we just move on.
Oh wait, while I've got your ear God, I have been feeling kinda yucky. Maybe I'm working too hard. Maybe it's my age. But I am so tired. I feel rotten. Could you help me out with that? Give me some strength maybe? What did you say? Forgive? God, really now, you're kinda getting hung up on this "forgive" thing...geez! Can we not just talk about how I'm feeling and how I'm needing your help here...UNLESS... No. Surely not. This has to be a bad joke. You mean to tell me that keeping Hurt in that container all this time is draining me of energy? I'm tired because of Hurt?
Ok, I think I get it and I don't think I like it. Keeping Hurt hidden and contained, which I thought was just survival, you call unforgiveness? Well, what about MY feelings, God? After all, this is Hurt we are talking about. He didn't get his name because he drew it out of a hat. I've got some deep wounds here God. They still feel the same actually, no better, even after all this time. I clearly know that Your Word says you care about me and making me release Hurt from his container isn't something you do to someone you love. God, this isn't fun. What about my heart? I can't do this! Do what? Trust You? Hmmm, this won't be easy. But I am tired, this is heavy, and...You are God. I can do all things through You who gives me strength. Even things I clearly don't want to do!
I'm so glad I have you God. I'm so glad you care so much about my feelings. I'm grateful that you urge me to trust You enough to open that container. Let Hurt out. You assure me that you are going to heal my wounded heart caused by Hurt. You are going to heal me and since I finally quit fighting that container, you can take care of that festering bitterness that has slowly been oozing out and poisoning me. That's what I've been tasting...I knew it was sour. You are going to nurse me back to health while I put my faith in action and allow you to do two jobs at once...heal me and love through me...even those I deem unlovely. Let's be real. After all, I am, without a doubt, someone's unlovely.
I've always felt unforgiveness meant my feelings didn't matter, the wrong committed didn't matter, and I just needed to follow God's commands (drill sergeant style) and just put my hurt away. Be tough. Stand tall. Get over it! Then, I think, how much does that sound like a heavenly father who is "compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, faithful, maintaining love to thousands, forgiving wickedness, rebellion, sin & punishing the guilty." (Ex 34:6) Seems I wasn't fully understanding of this "forgiveness" thing. Its really not mine to do...God does it through me. My job: Surrender it to a trustworthy, loving, mighty God.
I have to re-learn this lesson on unforgiveness just about every time I realize I've got another hurt stuffed in a container. The pain is so real. The anger so justifiable. The lie we believe is that if I let God heal my hurt then the "offender" did nothing wrong. That convincing lie keeps us fighting a hurt a long time. We have to know God is a just God. More than anything He loves us and when we hurt, He hurts. Surrendering and forgiving isn't giving your stamp of approval to all those wrongs that hurt you, but it is giving God access to your heart to heal you and love you with safe, unfailing love.
Called & commissioned by God to serve Him through this ministry, I would be honored to come to speak to your group or church. I love to learn more about Jesus and His love and then share His Word with others.
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