What lead a grown man to sob uncontrollably in my arms, while saying over and over I want my mommy, I want my mommy? Forgiveness. I met him in Rwanda and walked him through forgiving his mother for leaving him and his siblings in the genocide for her own safety. Years he had held on to the pain, but he was in a place where he wanted to forgive her, and try to reconcile with her as well. Before we get there though...there is something else we need to address.
Which is harder, to say "your sins are forgiven?" or "get up and walk?" Can I take a moment and answer that? The forgiveness of sins part has definitely got to be harder. Like by a long shot. And I say this because I will tell people all day to have faith that to do what Jesus says, but for me forgiveness is not as easy as telling people to "just have faith" that what He says is true. Following Christ isn't easy my friends. And this is one of those acts of obedience that I can easily forget about, until I am confronted by the truth. And that is what happened Saturday morning, when someone called me out on it. The truth felt like a truck hit me. I was holding onto hurt from 20 years ago. 2 decades is a long time to hold unforgiveness, and carry it in your heart. But that is what happened, for more than half my life.
We were criticized again for that decision, “well it doesn’t seem that great now either”. And sometimes God’s best doesn’t look that great, because we live in a culture that is focused on numbers, instant gratification, and wanting what is easy, and on top of that the American dream is about the pursuit of happiness, and not obedience to Christ. And in a way that was what we were faced with. Do what would secure his job? Or trust that He had a plan, and that this was really His best for us, as we had at first believed?
Last week I flew to visit a friend in Texas, and I ended up getting into the topic of beliefs with a guy in my row. He shared with me what he believed, and why. I realized quickly that he knew what he was talking about. His beliefs hadn't been spoon fed to him. He had thought a lot about them. We talked about his desire to please God to get to heaven, and to have his sins atoned for by getting right in the eyes of God. So at the end of the conversation I said Why not Jesus? His answer was eye-opening.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so [...]