Many years ago, I had someone do something bad to me. To me physically. And I felt very hurt, offended, angry and justified in disliking them to the place that I could actually say I hated them. God spoke to my heart and told me that I needed to forgive them. I fought God on this for a long time. They hurt me! It wasn’t right, God! I told Him. But God, in His loving (and FIRM) way, kept nudging me. He would speak to me through scriptures, preachers and even songs.
Finally, I gave in. I sat down and began praying to God. I told Him that I did not like this person at all, and how they had hurt me.
My prayer went like this: “God, You know all things. You love this person that I can’t love. You care about them, the way you care for me, you forgive them the way you forgive me. I let them go, in Jesus Name, and I ask that you help me to forgive them, and to love them through You.”
Just a few weeks later, this person ended up showing up at the church I was attending. As I had been already praying for him, God moved in my heart in a miraculous way. After service, I walked toward him (instead of running out the back door like my flesh wanted to) and I extended my hand. My heart was racing like a freight train and I thought it would beat out of my chest.
He looked at me, startled, and I was surprised to see the color drain out of his face. He looked down at my extended hand, and reached toward me to shake my hand. When our hands touched, it was if God Himself was standing right there. I started to apologize when suddenly I realized he was speaking. And as he was apologizing he was dissolving into tears. I also began crying and accepted his apology. Suddenly, we were embracing in a Godly hug, and as we stepped away, dabbing our eyes and noses, a freedom like I have never experienced moved through me. I felt joy unspeakable, and I had really never known that type of joy beyond my salvation experience.
Over the next few weeks and even months, Gods’ blessings POURED into my life. It was incredible.
God told me one quiet day as I sat in prayer that all of those blessings, the joy, and the incredible freedom were because I CHOSE to forgive. Because I CHOSE to let that person go from the bondage I was holding them in, in my heart.
Let it go. Let them go. Begin to look for the beautiful, the good, the wonderful in your fellow human being.
We can change our world. We really can.