Yesterday I was thinking about a particular quality of leadership that is so admirable to me…leading by example. Inevitably, my thoughts turned to the Lord. He does not ask anything of us that He has not been willing to do Himself. That thought process took me to the area of forgiveness and grace. Little did I know the magnitude of the impact this particular lightbulb moment would have on me personally!
How can my mind fathom the process of forgiving those who are wicked? It’s so very painful at first! But I am seeing how God moves and how He walks with us, growing us, teaching us His ways…it’s an amazing, inexplicable process! Truly, only our Creator God can change our hearts toward those who “deserve no mercy” and yet are offered just that from His hand…same as we are offered. There is none so wicked that God cannot save. That thought alone carries such weight! I feel as if I am watching a mountain move before my eyes as these concepts sink into my heart and I realize what the Lord is doing. I am in AWE!
When we begin our walk with God, there are often many things that we cannot yet deal with in our lives…people we cannot begin to think of forgiving, let alone praying for their salvation from the penalty of sin. I am seeing that God takes us at a pace we can handle. Eventually, as we learn & grow & allow Him to mold our hearts to be more like His He will move us to the place of humble forgiveness….a place where we can fully recognize that we ALL have fallen short of His standards and are in desperate need of His grace. Only after we get to that place can we begin to forgive those who have hurt us so deeply. We can try to forgive before that recognition is in full bloom in our hearts but it’s a lot more painful, a lot more difficult, and it’s not as encompassing. We simply must allow the growing process the time it needs. For some, it seems to happen at a quicker pace than others. For others it seems to take forever before we can face such an enormous task. I suspect the growth process may be directly related to how much we are willing to yield to the Lord for His purpose….but that’s just my own perspective….I am not sure.
What I do know is that God challenges us step by step…He doesn’t just push us off a cliff before He’s taught us how to fly first. : )
Unforgiveness hinders our walk with the Lord and must be addressed if we want to follow Christ. God is patient…if it’s a problem that you cannot handle quite yet, pray that God will walk you through. Sometimes the issue must be set aside until we are stronger—more mature in our spiritual walk…but it will not be forgotten until it’s properly dealt with. Keep learning, keep praying for wisdom, keep seeking Him, keep yielding to His wonderful love. He will grow you into the man or woman He created you to be…into the vessel He can use to reach even further into the darkness to rescue the lost.
There is a new song we have been singing at church lately that is also a part of this journey I am on. It’s written by Randy & Terry Butler.
I know a place
A wonderful place
Where accused and condemned
Find mercy and grace
Where the wrongs we have done
And the wrongs done to us
Were nailed there with Him
There on the cross
At the cross
At the cross
He died for our sins
At the cross
At the cross
He gave us life again
I wish you could hear the melody! I could not have said it better…nor as beautifully.
What freedom we have when we fully embrace the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice. And yet, it seems to be a continually unfolding realization…will we ever fully grasp the situation while we walk this earth? I don’t know…but I am excited to see how far we can go as we continue our journey of faith! : )