Wednesday night I discovered my friend and Sister in Christ is suffering terrible pain in her hip caused by Bursitis. It flared up a couple of weeks ago. Doctors have brought no relief. I looked up the spiritual root of Bursitis, it is repressed resentment. So, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I let her know. She burst into tears and wrote back to me: I knew it would have to come out someway.
Sometimes people and or life smack us in the face with neglect, abuse, tragedies, and trauma. She had long buried abuse and trauma. It was deeply buried; but recently began working its way to the surface. We can paste a smile on our faces and respond with everything is fine, God is good - All the time. Yes, God is good all the time, but life is not always fine, everything is not always fine. I find Christian women many times other won't admit there is anything wrong or they are the complete opposite and think and tell you everything is wrong and it normally takes several 4 to 5 hour long visits to do so. (These same women always seem to pop over during dinner or phone late at night and use you until they move onto to someone else.)
Christ lets us know in no uncertain terms we must forgive. The Bible is very clear on this. We cannot twist it, misconstrue it, and expect to live happily ever after. When we choose not to forgive, we hinder our walk with God. Forgiveness is a choice. We may not succeed at 1st, but I do believe God honours our heart's desire to forgive. One way I can tell I've truly forgiven someone is I can pray for them and truly ask the Lord to bless them, there is no more thinking maybe bringing a little fire and thunder down on them is a good thing.
In some circumstances forgiveness is truly instantaneous, in others it takes time. I've also noticed over the years, many people have a hard time or refuse to forgive themselves. About 20 years ago, I really annoyed a friend as she moaned about never forgiving herself over a minor offense. I said, "Good to know the Cross is big enough for me, for everyone else, but not you." Her eyes grew big, her Texas Twang increased in intensity as she vehemently denied it and realized in her case it was a matter of pride.
I look to Corrie ten Boom's example of forgiving the man who betrayed her and her family which led to their arrests and many of them were sent to Concentration Camps. She also personally forgave a guard who ask for forgiveness.
As Stephen was being stoned he asked the Lord to forgive his killers. Jesus said, "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
I know the act of forgiving is difficult and is opposite of what we as humans want to do at times. My friend Norma Dearing shared the following exercise with me years ago. She learned it from her father-in-law. I posted it years go. It is truly timeless. So please take some time to really discern what is buried, what is hindering your Christian walk, and what is causing you to sin. He will forgive you!
4 Way Forgivenss Exercise:
After you write down the people, places, situation, pretend you are holding them in your hands like cupped water, pray, then turn your hands over as you dumping the water as a symbol of letting go.
Part 1: Hold up to the Lord all the things about the person that trouble you.
Bring before the Lord all the things a particular person has done that bother you. Physically put your hands together like cupping water, in your hands, all these things to give to Him. For example, if the person is your father, list and name those things that upset you about him. It is important to verbalize each offense as you place it in your hands. When you are finished, turn your hands over and release all these things to the Lord. At this point, pray a prayer similar to the following:
Lord Jesus: I give You each one of these things and ask that You take them and pour Your love and healing power through them. I thank You, Lord, that You have the power and the grace to redeem them. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to lift all the pain and hurt that have been involved with each one of these experiences, that You lift it from my heart, from my mind, from my spirit. I ask that You lift the burden of these things from my shoulders. I give all this to You, Lord, and I trust You to deal with it. Thank You, Lord, for taking each one of these things. Amen.
Part 2: Hold up to the Lord all the things about you that trouble this person.
Put your hands together and prepare to lift up all those things about yourself that may trouble the person you are forgiving. Then, go through the same process of verbally listing them and piling them up one by one in your hands. When you cannot think of anything else, turn your hands over and release those things to the Lord. Now, pray the same type of prayer:
Lord Jesus: I ask You to pour Your love and healing power over these things. I ask You to heal this hurt and pain and disappointment. Lord, I give You this relationship today and ask for You to deal with it. Help me to trust You with it. Amen.
Part 3: Hold up to the Lord your heart's desire for this person.
Hold out your hands as if to offer that particular person to the Lord and share with the Lord what the desire of your heart is for him or her. Say, "Lord, this is my dad and this is what I would like for You to do for my dad." (If the person has died, it is still okay to lift up the person in prayer and share with the Lord what the desire of your heart is for him or her.) List those things, placing them in your hands. When you are finished, turn your hands over and give them all to the Lord, just as before. At this point, pray a prayer like the following:
Lord, I give [name] to You. I thank You that You are able to handle [him/her] better than anyone else. Bring about Your perfect will for [name], and let Your love pour into [him/her] and Your healing power flow over [him/her]. I release [name] into Your care. Amen.
Part 4: Hold up to the Lord your heart's desire for yourself.
Lastly, hold yourself up to the Lord and share with Him what the desires of your heart are for yourself, what you would really like to see Jesus do in your life today. Name these things out loud, put them into your hands and release them.
Lord, I release these things to You and ask that You pour Your love, mercy and grace into them. I thank You that I can trust You with these things. Surround me with Your heavenly angels. Help me to know how much You love me. Continue to reveal Yourself to me in a mighty way. Thank You, Lord. Amen.