Saturday, December 22, 2012

Letting Go-Post 5 (Last but certainly not least)

I could probably go on and on about what the Lord has shown and taught me during this past year.  "Letting go" has definitely been my theme this year.  Of course there are things that I can't share publicly, but take it from me, God has done a major refining in my heart and life.  I had some things that have weighed heavily on my heart for over 20 years now and it seemed that God decided that it was time to deal with it all now. I admit, these heart issues I had to deal with caused pain and discomfort.  However, after the Lord opened up my heart and exposed the pain with His light and love, I have experienced  a freedom that I haven't had in the past.  During this journey, I have discovered, once again, that unforgiveness had crept in.  Bitterness is an ugly thing.  Sometimes I don't even realize that I have unforgiveness in my heart, but all of sudden everything just stinks. 

This year, I had a long-time friend make some choices that caused me and my family some deep heartache.  The choices my friend made caused alot of damage in the lives of my loved ones.  From a human viewpoint, we had a right to be very upset and perhaps even cause alot of trouble for my friend.  After all, everything this friend once stood for was gone and not only was the friend getting into a dark hole, they were dragging some of my family with them.  This was a friend I trusted and I respected.  Again, I went through alot of emotions ranging from anger to sadness.  Night after night, I would lie awake with an ache in my heart that I couldn't seem to shed.  I cried out to the Lord over and over to deal with this person and give them freedom once again.  One thing I couldn't escape from, was the Lord's Word.  I would hear over and over.....Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT)

14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
 
When the Lord speaks that clear, I just can't ignore Him.  I thought of how Judas had betrayed Jesus and knew that the Lord understood my pain.  Oh, Judas, you backstabber!!  How could you do that??  It's almost as my life flashed before my eyes and I remembered many times I had turned my back on the Lord.  After all, He had created me, and had plans for me and I still turned away.  He offered me forgiveness and redemption and I turned my nose up and decided that I would do it MY way.  Not only that, I too, dragged people down with me.  WOW! The Lord can shine His light on things that you have totally forgotten about!  There is just NO way I could continue on holding this anger and grudge against my once close friend anymore.  I released my anger and unforgiveness, let go and ask God to take over.  Was it easy? No!  There were still times as my mind traveled through the past several months that I would feel that ache in my heart again.  However, after I had given it to God, agreed with Him that holding a grudge is indeed sin, that I could look back over this situation and see that Jesus' blood had covered not only my sin, but my friend's too.
 
Do you have someone that you are angry with?  You could be angry with a spouse, parent, friend, child, or even yourself!  Jesus loves us and forgives us and we don't deserve it or earn it.  If we truly want to be like Jesus, we MUST forgive.  Good news!!  The Lord won't only help us to forgive, HE will do it through us!  God is so good!  :)

Philippians 4:13 (NLT) I can do all things through Christ,  who gives me strength.