Strengthened by Forgiveness
Words of yesterday slammed
into my chest, mocking the
rhythm of will.
Why do I till the rocky
soil of relationships for hope
day after day, I start again.
Let go—an impossible smile
appears on my battered tear-streaked face.
I look you boldly in the eye
strengthened by forgiveness. Whether
you ever embrace my love, I know I
have embraced His.
Turning My Page:
Embracing the love of Jesus is changing how I love. Quick-tempered, I replay events, fantasize what I would say to those who have hurt me. I am the hero of every story. But, the truth is, I am often the villain, speaking words that cause heartache in my husband and children’s lives.
My daughter reminded me of this truth last week as she interrupted my son and me in a heated argument. Instantly the following happened:
- I looked at Daniel and really saw him.
- Recognized that what I was so defensive about mattered far less than my son.
- To Natalie it didn’t matter who was right, it mattered that we love one another.
- I prayed: God help me to love my son as you love me.
- We apologized to one another.
- Forgiveness strengthened our relationship.
I am different because Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Thank you, Lord!
Turning Your Page:
Forgiveness strengthens us because it takes our focus off of self and places it squarely on Jesus. Jesus was dying on the cross when he said the above words. He had his eyes on the prize. Reconciliation between his Holy Father and the wretched sinners placing our only hope on the cross.
When another person hurts you can the wound be filtered through forgiveness? Maybe all you can manage now is to pray for them. That is okay. Ask God to help you.
I cry out to you Jesus! Help me to forgive as you have forgiven me. I am a wretch hating another wretch. Lord help me to keep my eyes fixed on you, and to love my enemies, no matter how my soul is battered by this world. Amen
For Further Reading: Conviction Overturned by Love