(Note: I know you are missing Deborah's personal comments. She's taking a rest and has asked me to post for her. Hope you are enjoying some of her writings published via the Whispers of God email list long before this blog began. Please pray for Deborah as she rests, and pray that she can soon return to you. Blessings! ml)
“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalms 56:8)
Life does come with struggles. I always thought I had kept a close tab on the forgiveness list. You know, someone hurts my family (or me) in some way and I automatically forgive them. He who is forgiven much loves much. Jesus forgives me so much, how can I not forgive others? Sometimes, though, hurts rise to the surface unexpectedly. When I get angry again at another time, I might throw up past offenses. Or just out of the blue a past hurt will suddenly come to mind and feel relived. It is the Spirit wanting me to deal with these things.
Someone may not have any idea that he has hurt you. But it’s something you struggle with every day. Maybe something that happened long ago. It may not mean that you have not forgiven. Forgiveness is a process. But believe it or not, the unforgiveness can keep you in bondage. If you want to live in the freedom of the gospel you must give forgiveness even when it is not deserved.
St. John of the Cross says, “I tell you acting in love when others are not acting in love toward you--this is of the highest value to your soul. It is worth more than all the other acts of faith you may have done, no matter how great they may appear.”
The other morning getting ready for church, I really had to pray to get there. For some reason I don’t understand, it is just hard for me to leave home at times. Probably a control issue. Wanting comfort. Security apart from God. Anyway, it was a huge struggle. I do have praying friends and professional help with my disorder and I am doing very well. Still, sometimes it is just hard.
I even thought about the death of my mother. I had been with her for weeks, but was not there when she died. I have carried a lot of guilt because of that, even knowing my mother would not want that.
My pastor said that after the death of Lazarus, Jesus was so angry at sin and sickness and death, He quaked. God tremors. He is angry at the effects we suffer because of sin and sickness and death. I thought of the rage of a volcano as it erupts. It hit me. God is angry at my illness, not at me. I had felt guilt, shame, and humiliation at times over it. I didn't even realize it at the time. But to hear God is for me, that He is angry at all the illness’ effects on me, knowing He is with me and the love God has for me, this has made a huge impact.
Christ died on the cross for our freedom. That our conscience would be clear and we would be free from guilt. Free to follow Him. He became mortal. He humbled Himself even to the cross. One reason that He suffered was to identify with our suffering. There is nothing we will ever go through that He does not know exactly how we feel. He is full of compassion for us. Nothing we go through is wasted. We are not in the second plan for our lives. We are in His perfect plan. God is still in control. You can trust Him. He is making things right and in Heaven they will be perfect.