Have You Forgiven Him

“Yes, now I see it all—it was good for me to undergo this bitterness, for you have lovingly delivered me from death; you have forgiven all my sins."  Isaiah 36:17

It seemed almost blasphemous and sacrilegious all at the same time.  But there it was.

Before drifting off to sleep last night, I was licking a wound.  I had been hurt by someone, and began to pray, making sure to forgive everyone and anyone who had ever done me wrong.  It was a newly discovered joy for me, sheer bliss to be able to forgive and love freely those who had repeatedly wronged me, and as a result I felt so free.  Recounting specific situations in my mind and heart, I brought each one before God, trying to honestly examine and be examined so as not to leave anything undone.

I was just about finished, or so I thought, when His voice spoke to my heart.  It was so striking and startling that it took my breath away.  Yet, the words were also clear and gentle. 

"Have you forgiven me?"

I knew better than to question or pretend I didn't know what He was talking about.  He was calling me out.  Me, the one who said countless times that she would never understand how anyone could EVER be angry or bitter towards God.

But I was.

It was quite a while back when I prayed, asking God very specifically for direction about a matter.  And I got it.  I followed His direction and did what He told me to.  But things didn't shape up or shake out the way I expected, hoped, or wanted them to.  Sure, God was with me the whole time.  He was teaching me, leading me, and blessing me, too.  But, I was angry because it was hard.  Really hard.  Really, really, really hard.  And it hurt.

I knew what I had to do.  I had to answer the gentle, patient, loving and direct voice of my Savior.  I had to say, "Yes, Abba, I have forgiven you.  Will you please forgive me and remove any root of bitterness in me?"

Hebrews 12:15 tells us, "Look after each other so that not one of you will fail to find God’s best blessings. Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives."

And Psalm 32:1-2 says, "What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven! What joys when sins are covered over! What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record."

I now understand, like Isaiah, that it was good for me to go through this.  I am grateful for God's forgiveness and constant pruning.  I can't imagine life without either one.

May God forgive our every sin that we might love others as freely as He loves us.

Goodnight, Runners.


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