Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Freedom in Forgiveness

Why is that when life throws me lemons, I don't make lemonade.
I make a mess. A mess of me and often times, others.
Instead of adding water and sugar and maybe a hint of mint, I tend to add anger, that can lead to bitterness, I add judgement and doubt. Then to make matters worse, I plan retaliation or maybe just my come back answers.

Oh LORD, help me.
Help me Listen to YOU.
Help me cry out to you, instead of lingering in the anger.
Help me to hear it is that YOU want to say. To ask you what is you want me to know.

I want to learn from others who have been in similar situations.
I want to find someone in the Bible who relates to my messiness.
I desire to honor you, even in the midst of pain and sorrow.
I want to pray for those who mistreat me, who malign me, who make me feel like I don't matter.
Because that is what YOU did, Jesus.
You prayed for those who persecuted you.
As you lay suffering and dying on the cross, you said,

       "Father,forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

It is in forgiveness, that we can be free.
Free from the anxiety.
Free from the anger.
Free from the bitterness.
Free from the pain that wounded us.
Free from being judgmental.
Free from the fear.
Free from the consuming thoughts of revenge.

That is what I desire. What I ask God for throughout my day.
I want to be the person who learns the lesson quickly.
Unfortunately, it often takes me much longer.

The good news is that God understands me.
The good news is that He wants me to know He is there.
The good news is that He can relate.
The good news is that He can forgive me. Over and over again.
The good news is that this is the Gospel.
That Jesus came to bring me back to Him.
That Jesus came to restore my relationship to the Father.
That Jesus came to restore relationships.
That Jesus came bringing healing.
That Jesus came bringing Peace.
That Jesus came bringing His Forgiveness to me-for everything I have ever done wrong, and everything I still will do wrong.

That Jesus came to bring GRACE. His unending mercy, His undeserved love.

GRACE is what brings me back to Jesus. Time and time again.
GRACE is what I am basking in at this moment. Relishing His love and Forgiveness.
GRACE is what makes it easy for me, but cost Jesus everything.

So when you make a mess, instead of a message, when you kick and scream, instead of remaining calm, remember the Good News of Jesus. He came to set the captives free.