This will be short, sweet, & to the point.
I met a woman today who a year ago was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Today, she is cancer free and says the year was a “year of growth.” She never doubted God’s hand in all of it, but says the Christmas lights this year are much prettier. She missed seeing them last year in the midst of a frightening diagnosis. So much can change in a year.
A young man I knew died last night. Three days after Christmas his poor mother must bury her son. Christmas lights will also likely mean something different to her next year as well. Life can change in an instant.
It is so unpredictable.
But yet, we plan for it as if it is very, very predictable. We plan our vacations. We plan our retirements. We even plan for our deaths in the oddest of ways, by planning who gets our “stuff.” But while all of that may be important, even necessary – How do we plan for our ETERNAL life?
Don’t quit reading right here because you think because you are a Christian, you don’t need to. You probably do. And so do I, need to read what I write, and practice what I preach.
With a heavy heart, tonight, I write this. And as promised, I’ll make it short, sweet, and simple.
- Have you verbalized forgiving someone, yet, talk about them behind their back as if you have not? (Then, you haven’t REALLY forgiven them, and perhaps you now need to ASK for forgiveness).
- Are you unwilling to do the HARD work necessary to HEAL a broken relationship? (That’s called unforgiveness – which is not an option in God’s Book). Oh, and if you are saying it is not a possibility for that relationship to heal – Then you really don’t have the FAITH in God you profess to have, do you? Because with GOD all things are possible, and He is in the business of RESTORATION!
- Are you unwilling to humble YOURSELF to TRULY ask for forgiveness from someone? (That’s called PRIDE, and by the way – It got satan kicked out of heaven.)
- Are you calling yourself a Christian and talking about your brothers & sisters to others? That’s called gossip & slander – another thing not looked at so fondly by God. Oh, and it doesn’t really model a Christ-like life either.
Hey, I’m calling myself out on these things as well. I KNOW they are tough questions. But I know some people in need of forgiveness, but I ALSO know many in need of ASKING TO BE FORGIVEN. Tonight, if I could scream it from the rooftops to forgive before it’s too late, I would. I can’t get it out of my head that this poor mother lost her son……….. I have two sons. I am so sad for her……
You don’t KNOW if that person you have not asked forgiveness of will be here tomorrow, or the next day. PRAY. Ask God to give you the strength and the courage and the humility to pick up the phone and say, “I am SO SORRY!” REGARDLESS of the response…… It will be so freeing…. I promise….. (Oh, and VERY pleasing to God, too)!
And if you have someone you need to forgive……… Over & over & over………. That’s okay. Do it. Because Jesus has to forgive YOU & I over & over & over too………..
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22
(See? It wasn’t ME who said it! It was JESUS Himself!)