Tonight, I went to a fantastic prayer meeting. We were worshiping and praying and connecting with God in such a deep way. And Pastor Chris talked about how we needed to confess any unforgiveness that we were harboring. And I instantly thought of this.
Many years ago, I was married to a man, not my current husband. Many terrible and frightening things took place and in my heart developed bitterness, anger, hurt, and resentment. Now, I knew that in spite of everything that took place, I had to forgive him. I expect forgiveness and I should be willing to give it. But I also knew, that in and of myself, I didn't have forgiveness in me. So I began to pray for him. I prayed for God to give me eyes to see him and a heart to forgive him. Forgiveness doesn't mean I let him back in my life. It's doesn't mean that what he did was ok. It simply means that I see him with a different pair of eyes.
I didn't mean it. I wasn't sincere. I didn't have it in my heart, but I knew that if I didn't start praying for a heart to be able to forgive him that I would never have a heart that was able to do that. And only God could give that to me.
As years went by, I began to heal, and I began to forgive and I began to pray for his salvation. I mean, in spite of everything that happened, he is still a child of God. And I knew that my forgiveness wasn't complete until I could honestly pray that he receive the same grace and salvation that I have received. After all, sin is sin, and therefore his sin is no worse than mine.
18 years have gone by and I believed long ago that I had truly forgiven him, and I still pray for his salvation. But when we started this fast I began to pray again that I would see people with His eyes, and have His heart for them. As I was praying a couple of days ago, I prayed for his salvation and my heart felt burdened for him, heavy and sad. It was then that I realized, God had given me a taste of what His heart is like for this man. His heart is heavy and sad, and wants this man to receive the grace that He so freely gives. And I felt it. At that moment I knew without a doubt that my forgiveness truly was complete. And it wasn't just a superficial forgiveness. God had changed my heart.
I thank God that He is never finished with us. And even though sometimes our prayers can seem to go years without being answered, they are always answered in His perfect timing. I am thankful that I am forgiven. I am thankful that He has given me a heart that will forgive.
The Garth Brooks Dilemma.
3 years ago