In His Image (Day 3 from Beside Still Waters)
I think the most beautiful time on the lake is during sunrise, it marks the beginning of a new day of possibilities. As the sun comes up over the tree line the lake comes alive; the birds are singing, in the distance, you can hear the Great Blue Heron’s calling or Canada Geese honking from above. It always reminds God’s blessings and joys are new every day, and so are our choices. In the book of Joshua 24:15 God gave the children of Israel a choice, He said, “. . . chose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. ,” referring to the gods of their fathers or those of the land they were now living. As I look back over my life I can honestly say it truly began when I accepted Christ, His word says it this way, “. . . if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things [previous morals and spiritual condition] have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) I am not the person I once was; I don’t see things the same way and I don’t react to others the same as I once did, I don’t even see myself the way I use to. I’m not a victim; I am more than a conqueror. I am not a survivor; I am an overcomer. I am not living in fear, because perfect love cast out all fear, and the God of love dwells in me. I have a clean heart and a renewed spirit within me I hold no unforgiveness towards those who have hurt me; cursed me or even hated me. I can pray for those who spitefully used me and even persecuted me. I wake up every morning with a new song in my heart, praising God for all He has done for me. I will stand with Joshua and respond, “. . . as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not thankful for all that the Lord has done for me and for the many blessing and joys that are truly new every morning.
I know life can be hard and when we come to that fork in the road it’s easier to take the wide path that promises us everything, but in the end, gives us nothing. I know how easy it is to resent those that have hurt you; someone once said to me, “If being a Christian means I have to forgive them then I don’t want to be one.” I understood where they were coming from but God asks us to forgive them just as he has forgiven us. At one time I would write the name of a person I couldn’t forgive on a notecard and on the back I wrote this from Ephesians 4:31-32, “Lord, I will let go of all bitterness, disapproval, resentment, and anger concerning [their name would go here]. I will not feel any hostility towards or speak evil about [their name]. I do not wish any ill will towards [their name]. I will kind and compassionate towards [their name]. And Lord, I will forgive [their name] just as you have forgiven me.” At first, this was just a daily exercise, but the longer I repeated it the deeper his words penetrated my heart. The Lord knew I had trouble with this person and he knew why, and I believe he understood, but he also knew the only person I was hurting was myself; chances are when they walk away they never gave the incident another thought. If you are a Christian and you are holding unforgiveness then you are hindering your walk with the Lord, and if you’re not then you are avoiding the only one that can help you to forgive. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” . . . now is the acceptable time; . . . now is the day of salvation.” (NKJV) Don’t let this day slip past you, believe me, you don’t want to spend five years like I did, crying yourself to sleep at night wondering aimlessly on the wrong path. Lord, I lift this precious young woman before you, I know she’s been hurt and has every right to not want to forgive the one that hurt her. Show her, as only you can, that the only one she is hurting is herself. Give her the strength and the courage to let go of the past and step into a wonderful new day; put a song in her heart as she opens it too invites you in. Place around her a garment of praise and on her head the crown of righteousness. Light her path with your Word that she may go from glory to glory until the time we all stand together in our new heavenly home. In your name, we pray.
Sweet child of God I leave you with this, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:4,7 NKJV) Child of God you are truly blessed and the beloved of your heavenly Father.