For years I wrestled and rewrestled skeletons from the past. Journals full of sludge, many sleepless, prayer-filled nights, and buckets of tears, but finally the healing was coming. God lovingly released me from the shadows of shame that plagued me throughout life. He brought victory in the assurance that He has never, and will never take His compassionate hand out of my circumstances.
Forgiveness can be difficult and complex. Just when you think you have done all of your forgiving, those painful cobwebby areas in the corners of your heart expand, revealing still more work that needs to be done.
Through a series of dreams I had recently, I was shocked at the animosity stirred deep within me toward someone from my past. There is no way I will see this man again, so what does it matter if I harbor resentments toward him forever? But it does matter....it matters to God, who wants me to be a whole, healthy person. Unforgiveness also negatively affects the heart and mind, and causes anxiety.
God is gracious and patient, for that I am thankful. He allows time for healing, giving breaks from the relentless pressures and trials of life. But now to roll up my sleeves and get back to work. I must find a way to release this man from my debt. Even though I don't feel terribly scarred by his actions, the fresh anger I feel is a red flag reminding me that there are things that still need let go of and the work of forgiving is not finished.
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Have you ever been reminded of a former offense against you and had the pain come rushing back over you like it happened yesterday? Do you ever wake up wanting to punch the person who caused it?