Unforgiveness nearly destroyed me!
Here I was, “Woman of the Lord.” Teacher, Worship Leader, Choir Director, Jesus Lover, Walking in the Light, Christian! WHAM! Someone hurt one of my babies! A deceiver; a wolf in sheep’s clothing; a liar; a destroyer! Left her life in a shambles. Honestly, my “mama bear” went into overdrive! Words can’t express the anger, even rage, that consumed me. I could do nothing to fix it! I sank into a very dark place. I walked the floor at night. I cried; I railed; I devised vengences in my mind. I couldn’t pray. How could God have let this happend to my sweet girl? She didn’t deserve this! Hadn’t I dedicated her to Him? Raised her in church and in “the Way?” She loved Jesus! How could someone treat her so horribly?
Look, I was no baby Christian. I knew what anger, hate, rage, and unforgiveness could do to you. I just felt helpless to change how I felt. My husband began to fear that I had gone “around the bend.” The thoughts of my heart left me with blood on my hands. My inability to forgive became a prison cell for me. I felt cut off from God, and I couldn’t seem to break out of it! I began to believe the lies of my enemy…that I was too far gone to find my way back to Him.
But God…..(one of my pastor’s favorite sayings.) But God! But God, in His everlasting mercy rescued me. No, I didn’t deserve to be rescued, because I couldn’t let go of my anger, even though I was terrified of what it was doing to me. One Sunday in church sweet Deanna, who has a ministry in Worship Sign Language, signed to a song that captured my heart and pulled me back from the brink and into the love of God again. “You’re Not Alone” by Meridith Andrews. A song for me, and a song for my girl, too. (I will post it below.) He knows. He loves.
There is that old saying, “Forgive and forget.” Forget? Not actually possible, is it? But, thank God! We don’t ever want to forget what unforgiveness will do to us! Look, if you walk upon this fallen earth, among a fallen race of people, you have been wounded. It’s what happens here. And you most likely have wounded someone yourself. It’s like my friend, Christin Ditchfield, says in her book, “What Women Should Know About Letting It Go:”
“Wounded people wound….somehow we have got to find a way to let it go. Let go of the pain, the hurt, the anger, the bitterness, and the resentment. The unforgiveness. And then learn to forgive. …Forgive because Jesus said to. And if somehow that doesn’t seem reason enough, then because it is killing us not to.”
Yes, it will kill us not to! It will cut us off from God’s forgiveness. Matthew 6:14,15: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Our hearts will shrivel like the roses in the picture above. We have a sacred responsibility to clear our hearts of the refuse of unforgiveness if we want to build a holy habitation for the Lord in it. He is coming soon for His Bride! Will she be carrying a bouquet of dead and wilted flowers to His altar? I don’t think so. Time is very short! Don’t put it off!
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians about repentance and “Clearing of yourselves.” (2Cor.7:11) For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
How diligently they worked to “clear themselves!” May we do the same with any shred of unforgiveness we hold. The “revenge” he speaks about here is not revenge on a person. It is revenge against the sinfulness we hold in our hearts. With Jesus’ help we can clear ourselves of the unforgiveness that lurks there. It will open the floodgates of heaven once again to receive mercy from His hand. I could not let go of my anger and unforgiveness until I saw it for what it was….sin, ugly sin. His goodness overcame it. He loved me where I was, and I was able to let His mercy flow over me and through me.
I am walking in the Light once again. He saw me through my darkest night. There is much more to my story, which I will save for another time, but I will say that I am not the only character in this story who is walking in the Light and Favor of the Lord once again. My daughter has a beautiful testimony of her own, and is serving Jesus with “a vehement desire and zeal” she never knew before. God is able! He makes all things beautiful!
Let’s pray: Wonderful, Merciful Savior, Help us to walk in forgiveness. For without You we can not do it. Rescue us from our sinful pride, anger, and bitterness. Work in us to will and to do Your good pleasure as we seek to clear ourselves of anything that does not please You. In Jesus’ name,