Friday, March 2, 2012


How To Forgive

     One day, a man with a grief-stricken heart was walking in the woods. As he thought about his life, he remembered things he knew just weren't right. He thought about those who had lied to him when he had a job. He thought about those who had stolen his things and cheated him. He remembered his family that had passed on. His mind turned to the illness he had that no one could cure. His very soul was filled with anger, resentment, frustration and unforgiveness.
     Searching for answers he could not find, knowing all else had failed him, he knelt at the base of an old oak tree to seek the One he knew would always be there. With tears in his eyes he prayed:

    "Lord, You have done wonderful things for me in this life. You have told me to do many things for You and I happily obeyed. Today, You have told me to forgive. I am sad, Lord, because I cannot. I don't know how. It is not fair, Lord. I didn't deserve these wrongs that were done against me and I shouldn't have to forgive. As perfect as Your way is Lord, I fear I may not hear You, but I pray that You teach me to do this one thing that it seems so hard for me to do --- Teach me to forgive. In Jesus' Name. Amen"

      As he knelt there in the quiet shade, he felt something fall onto his shoulder. He opened his eyes. Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw something red on his shirt. But he could not identify exactly what it was. He glanced up and where the oak tree had been, there now was a large square piece of wood in the ground. He raised his head and saw two feet held to the wood with a large spike through them.
       He raised his head more and tears came to his eyes as he saw Jesus hanging on a cross. He saw spikes in His wrists, a gash in His side, a torn and battered body with deep thorns sunk into His head. Finally he saw the suffering and pain on His precious face. As their eyes met, the man's tears turned to sobbing and Jesus began to speak,

"Have you ever told a lie?"  He asked.
The man answered, "Yes, My Lord."
"Have you ever been given too much change and kept it?"
The man answered, "Yes, Lord," and he began sobbing more.
"Have you ever taken something from work that wasn't yours?"
"Yes, Lord." The man answered again.
"Have you ever sworn using My Father's Name in vain?"
The man now crying loudly answered, "Yes, I have. Lord. I'm so sorry."
 And Jesus continued asking the man many more "Have you ever questions" and the man began to cry uncontrollably as he would always answer with, "Yes, Lord."

      Then Jesus turned His head from one side to the other in a gesture of "No, no no. All these things were wrong." and the man felt something fall on his other shoulder. He looked and saw that it was the blood of Jesus. When he looked back up, his eyes met those of Jesus and there was a look of love the man had never ever seen or known before.
      Jesus said, "I didn't deserve this either, but I forgive you."


It may be hard to see how you're going to get through something but when you look back in life, you realize how true this statement is:

Almighty God, You know the struggles I face with forgiveness. I do want, so badly, to forgive so I may be free from bondage of this horrible sin, but I don't know how. Help me, Father God. I know unforgiveness keeps me from truly experiencing all the love You have for me. I beg You to let Your Son, Jesus Christ, walk with me and teach me how to soften my heart and become understanding so that I may forgive, just as You have forgiven us. Father, in all my humbleness, I ask that You, please, renew in me, a merciful and forgiving Spirit. In Jesus' Loving Name, I pray. Amen.