I don't believe a single person who says it's easy, simple or quick.
I can't buy it when someone says they can forgive instantly.
For me, personally, it's hard.
But when I do finally get around to forgiving, I can honestly say, I really truly have forgiven. As in, the issue is done, my heart is healed (or being healed) and I can look at the offender with new eyes again.
All of this really makes me appreciate God's forgiveness to me. I imagine that even for Him it was hard, complicated and painful. Why else would Jesus have begged for another way? Why else would He have cried out to God, pleading to let this cup pass? It was obviously a time of darkness and turmoil. The whole time Jesus was taking on our sins and forgiving them the same. Wow.
Lately I've been thinking about forgiveness a lot. There are things in my life that I think I've forgiven, but upon really diving into the subject, I realize I have not. Forgiveness is an easy thing to talk about, a noble word to toss around. It's quick and lovely to say you forgive someone. The deed itself is not. At least not in my experience. I have been hurt and have had things taken from me that can never be returned...there are things that I've buried deep. Things that I've said that I have gotten over and forgiven. I've moved on. I haven't. I still think about them...I still hold on to the pain. Why? Is it like some sort of security? Some sort of twisted control that I keep? I just can't let go...as long as I can hold on to this, all the while saying I've forgiven, then maybe I still have a little power left in the situation where I had none to begin.
But why do I want that control? Why is it so difficult to just open my arms, my heart...to look up and hand Jesus my heart, so broken, and ask Him to help me forgive. To give me HIS heart instead of mine, the one that is bruised and damaged. Why is it so difficult to really make that exchange?
Something hit me the other day. I heard or read somewhere a verse that I cannot remember the exact reference to right now, but it said that God promises to make all things new. Not to fix or heal, but actually make it completely new. And I had to ask myself...have I really let God make me NEW? Or do I tend to just ask Him to mend or patch the broken parts?
Perhaps if I let God make me all new, a new creation in Him, then I will be able to love with His love and give forgiveness abundantly and with no strings attached...the same forgiveness He pours down on me.
Sometimes I feel like I am so behind. Like I'm just learning or realizing things that I should have learned eleven years ago when I asked God to come into my life. Why is it taking me so long to figure this whole thing out?
Thank you God for your forgiveness
And the chance to make me New, not just fix me.