Happy Saturday, friends!
Saturdays in October are among my very favorite things! I hope you are taking time this month not only to pray, but also to enter in to a bit of Rest. That means different things to different people. For some, Sabbath Rest may include gathering with friends and reconnecting over a meal or a fun activity... for others, a quiet corner on the couch with a good book will do just fine, thank you!
Today as we wrap up this week focused on Healing, I wanted to give a quick recap as well as dive in (briefly) to one of the biggest things that often stands in the way of our fully receiving our Healing.
Yeah... we're gonna deal with a root of bitterness and the stranglehold of unforgiveness (...briefly!) #insertwinkyemojihere
Deep breaths, everyone.
Please hear me... what I am NOT saying is that if you are sick or stuck or battling some old wounds that scarred --that your not being fully healed is your fault.
I am NOT saying that.
(And I am so sorry if someone has ever said or implied that.)
What I am saying is that often times, when we are hell-bent on hanging on to bitterness and unforgiveness, well-- our hands are already full and we can't fully receive what else is being offered!
As I mentioned in Thursdays' post, I recently had a picture of an excited young Jesus, asking me if I wanted to trade. Imagine a school cafeteria at lunch time... let me tell you, when Jesus excitedly asks you if you want to trade, the answer is always Yes!
When it comes to Healing - whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual... often times I believe He desires to give us what we want, and yet our hands are clenched tight, already hanging on to our past hurts and wrongs... so we are unable to fully let go and receive the New or the Next that He has for us.
Last year as I wrote a different 31Days series on Truths We Know...it's just that Sometimes We Forget, I wrote this in talking about Forgiveness:
I know it has been
arguedsaid for many things like Forgiveness and Grace, that it is free but it cost Jesus everything.I believe that is true.I believe that He did all that needs to be done and freely pours out Grace and offers us Forgiveness.As I prayed this morning and asked Him what He wanted you to know about Forgiveness,
I believe this is still true today! I believe that He already paid the price and while we are quick and relieved to say Yes and Thank You to the forgiveness He offers us, sometimes we are reluctant to pass it on to those who have done us wrong.
--He quickly spoke to my spirit:I want them to know --to remember-- that Forgiveness is a Gift! That I freely give it... I poured out willingly because it is a gift I long to give to them! But more than that, I long for them to open the gift, to fully receive it, and let it become a part of who they are! For I created them to be forgiven and free!
Here's the thing that I think we get all mixed up: Forgiveness doesn't mean that you have to Forget... but it sure is a step in that direction.
Forgiveness actually sets YOU free, even more than it may free the one you are withholding forgiveness from. It causes you to come to God with hands wide open... palms up, ready to receive!
We have freely received, and we are called to freely give.
We are called to forgive because we have been forgiven...
We are called to love like Jesus loves...
When we remember to stop rehearsing the wrongs and instead offer grace and choose the way of forgiveness, we are set free from chains that keep us down and hold us back.
We find wide open spaces and room to breathe... we find the weight of sin --ours and theirs-- is lifted off once again and the burden that we bear is supposed to be Love, not Hate... it's supposed to Set Free, not Bind Up.
I can list all the Scriptures about forgiveness, but honestly I think we know those... it just sometimes feels like Justice to hold on to the hurts... to pick at old scars... it feels empowering to remember the pain.
Oh, friend... but it's not.
It's really not.
The real freedom comes in the letting go... not so much for 'them' (whoever they are!) but for you!
I believe the Lord is standing in front of each of us today... offering a trade. It's an Isaiah 61 sort of deal.
I encourage you to look at your hands and search your heart... unclench and let go... and get ready for a trade up and the best deal you will ever find!
Unfortunately, as we transition from prayers of healing to prayers for the Church --well, we will find some overlapping, right? Tomorrow, we will do a little Listening Prayer to help us to let go of some of these heavy burdens, as well as ask the Lord to heal where we need healing... especially in regards to His Bride, the Church, whom --somehow, He still does and always will Adore!
He's forgiven her... my prayer is that we will, too!
Until then, let's remember to:
Today is Day Twenty Two of 31 Days of Life Happens...and so We Pray! If you missed the kick-off and official 'Home page' for this series, you can go HERE and catch up! You will find links for each days' postings, added daily throughout the month. If you'd prefer to have them delivered right to you, I invite you to enter your email address to the right ('Subscribe Here') and subscribe to the blog. That way, once a week, each post is delivered to your inbox in a single email over the weekend and you'll be sure not to miss a thing!