Monday, January 12, 2015

Forgiveness Fighters

Have you ever just wrestled with the past so much that it started to form your present days into disarray?  Maybe it was something you did to someone else that causes you great sadness; or most likely, what you may dwell on, is what offenses someone else has brought to you.

Finding freedom from things that have been done against you may be one of the hardest battles a person will face..and a continuous battle at that.  Anyone that has been wronged knows that it doesn't just take a one-time act of forgiveness to find healing but generally a ongoing repetitive form of freedom takes place over many many times of choosing to forgive.

I, like you, can rattle off the times that I feel I have been ripped off, misjudged, or wronged. There may be hundred or thousands of times in my life that I have been the underdog in a situation. However there is always a small list of infractions that is set apart from the rest; the ones that seem to keep rearing their ugly heads at you year after year. The ones that when you think of them you can easily go back to that time period and get angry all over again. These are what I call the, "forgiveness fighters."

Forgiveness Fighters don't remind you of all the details of an event; just the most painful ones. They are quiet thoughts that creep in most unexpectedly, and can turn your ordinary day into something like a whirlwind of reminiscing & despair. They can take something that was far away from your mind into a very close encounter of heartache and misfortune. I have forgiveness fighters that follow me around from time to time but I have one that is matchless in agony and every time it decides to inflict some pain upon me, I fall into its ugly pit.

I've wrestled with him for years and its an excruciating battle. He uses true events to beat me down; which is so hard to fight against. Every time I have to admit that yes, that happened, and his facts are accurate. Its finding my freedom in that moment that is more then I can handle on my own. I first start to think about the facts, remembering everything about the offense. Sometimes the forgiveness fighter will even hand me something that I had forgotten over time; a remnant of agony and remind me of something attached to the event. This always is a sure sign I'm heading the wrong every thought starts to attach themselves to this offense and before I know it I am reliving it and so is the person who wronged me.

There are times where I sit in this dessert for days or weeks. Recently I sat there for just a bit longer and it was just a bit dryer there then Ive experienced ever before. The remedy to this is always the same; but coming to the realization that you even need a remedy is always difficult. Generally, I can wander around there for a time before I "snap" out of it and realize that I've been tricked into that biter hole again. Ive been robbed of many things including kindness during this...because I don't know about you, but when I'm dwelling on something hard and its consumed my mind, I'm not a very pleasant person to be around. I tend to take it out on my entire family and shut down from the rest of the world.

This time was different in the sense that the bitterness came with powerful justification. I convinced myself that I was entitled to feel this way and act like I needed to be in defense mode.  Usually I know I'm being wrong when I do it and feel bad about it. But this time I couldn't have found my way out of this vast dry place by myself if I wanted to. The remedy is always Jesus, but instead of following Him back onto fertile ground, He had to drag me out kicking and screaming. I was quite content being miserable.

The power the Lord exhibits when He comes for you is incredible. I was in a lost way of thinking; not one good thing was in my mind and in my heart. I was a rotting mess and He came to my rescue...once again! Praise the Lord for His incredible love! One glimpse with Him and He revealed every lie that I was hanging out with. An incredible weight of depression left and I began to cry.. I always am so sad when reality is revealed showing that I can be that easily led down the road to misery. My only hope is that He always comes to get me no matter where I am. He reminds me of forgiveness and healing and I cloak it back around my shoulders and continue moving forward.

I once again stood upright, put my shoulders back, and went to the one who originally hurt me. Ironically then, I apologized and asked for their forgiveness as well. Without hesitation the answer was yes.

Forgiveness isn't a weak response to pain, it is instead the absolute fail-proof cure to it!