Its part of a study I am doing and this week we are talking about forgiveness. I have learned a lot during this journey but this is truly the hardest lesson of all to learn and to continue learning because human nature is not big on forgiveness. We get forgiveness from God because of Jesus Christ. He paid for our sins. He took on our guilt and our punishment so that we could have a relationship with our heavenly father. However, people do not like to forgive. We are not born with the knowledge of what it is to forgive someone. Think about it. We do not like to say we are sorry and we do not like to offer forgiveness to someone else, at least not at first.
As a parent it was very humbling when I would mess up to go to my daughter and tell her I was sorry and then ask for her forgiveness but the return on that far outweighed my discomfort. I did not feel smaller. I thought I would but I saw the peace and the joy that filled her eyes and the change in her countenance when she realized that her mother was not perfect. It also released her from feeling as if she had to be perfect. Now she understands when I go to her and say I am sorry for something and she is quick to do the same. By modeling asking forgiveness she better understands the need of giving it and asking for it.
Sorry, went off on a tangent. I was talking about my bag of rocks.
Well, in my study that I am working through, this week I am writing down all of the past hurts and offenses that I have held inside. Every. One. Of. Them. I have told myself over and over to “get over it”, “move on”, or to “forget about it” but words spoken in anger, hurts inflicted, and wounds ignored only grow and fester in the dark part of our hearts. They stop up the power of God’s love and beauty and light flowing in our life. When the walls of our heart are closed off with past regrets and hurts, even if God’s love is residing inside, it cannot get out.
I sat down and made my list. I asked God to bring to mind anything that I had not resolved. Any issue that was still rotting in my soul, so that I could name it and move forward. It was hard. When God brings those things to mind, the memories come and the hurt returns and satan can use that to cause doubt and fear, and we can easily slip back into the pit that we have struggled to get out of.
But I named each rock and placed it in a bag. I put the bag in my purse and I have carried it with me everywhere and let me tell you, it is heavy. Very heavy. It is ironic how I find myself avoiding my purse, and it is my favorite by the way. I take a deep breath when I know I have to pick it up, because the weight of it is much greater than just the rocks it contains. But I will carry it this week everywhere I go, I have carried those hurts for 35+ years, what is one week to really see how all of that is weighing me down? I am already looking forward with great anticipation towards the end of this week but that will be in a later post.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Colossians 3:12-13
Is God’s light able to shine in all the corners of your heart or is it being blocked by the rocks? Maybe you too need to get a bag of rocks and carry them for a week and see how heavy it is. It will open your heart and open your mind. Forgive.