“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive them their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14 NIV
When you thought no one was watching, my daddy saw everything. He saw you break my heart. He saw you abuse me. He saw when you plotted and schemed against me. He saw you stab me in the back. He heard you lie to me and about me. He heard you say that I was ugly and that no one would ever love me. He saw you try to break my spirit. He saw you laugh when I fell. He heard every curse you spoke over my life. He saw you use me. He saw you cast me aside. He heard how you talked to me like I was something stuck on the bottom of your shoe. He heard you call me every foul name you could think of.
I wanted you to pay. I wanted revenge. I couldn’t wait until you felt the wrath of my daddy. When he didn’t seem to move fast enough, I wanted to scream. I wanted to throw things. I wanted to punch and kick. Then I realize that not only was my daddy watching you, he was watching me too. He was watching to see if I would be obedient and follow his teachings. He wanted to see if I would forgive you, if I would pray for you and if I would love you. For a brief moment I forgot these things. I forgot who my daddy is.
I don’t know why you chose to hurt me. Maybe it’s because you were hurt. Maybe you’ve never experienced true love. Maybe you’ve never seen a true representation of my daddy. I would love for you to meet him. Let me tell you who my daddy is. He goes by many names, God, Yahweh, Jehovah. He is the alpha and omega. He is almighty and he is love. He forgives and shows mercy. He lifts up those who have fallen down. He heals broken hearts. Even though we fall, he still loves us unconditionally. His purpose is never to hurt but to encourage and strengthen. I was created in his image therefore, I will forgive you. I will continue to pray for you and I will never stop loving you.
“I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:44 NIV
“So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15 NIV
Please excuse my grammar this week but I have a serious attitude. When I say I’m a child of God, therefore a co-heir with Christ, I ain’t playin’ (Romans 8: 16-17). When I say that I’m not the person I used to be, I ain’t playin’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). When I say I’m healed, I ain’t playin’ (1 Peter 2:24). When I say I’m blessed and favored, I ain’t playin’ (Psalm 5:12). When I say I am loved, I ain’t playin’ (John 3:16). When I say I will succeed, I ain’t playin’ (Psalm 138:8). When I say I’m beautiful, I ain’t playin’ (Psalm 139:14). When I say I’m protected, I ain’t playin’ (Psalm 91:9-12). When I say was chosen, I ain’t playin’ (1 Thessalonians 1:4). When I say I’m more than a conqueror, I ain’t playin’ (Romans 8:37). When I say I’m free, I ain’t playin’ (Galatians 5:1). When I say I’m armed, I ain’t playin’ (Ephesians 6:11-18). When I say I’m not worrying, I ain’t playin’ (1 Peter 5:7). When I say I will not be controlled by fear, I ain’t playin’ (2 Timothy 1:7). When I say Jesus is coming back, I ain’t playin’ either (1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17).
When the enemy attacks, get an attitude. Let the enemy know that you ain’t playin’. Stand on the promises of God and boldly profess them. A storm is not the time for you to become passive. It’s not the time for you to lose hope. It’s time to hold on even tighter to your faith. It’s time to praise the Lord even harder. If you don’t have faith that God is almighty and can do all things, you have already lost the battle. Have no doubt. God loves you and He is with you. He will deliver you.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 NIV
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1 NIV
If only I had savored every moment with my family. If only I would have loved more and judged less. If only I had paid more attention to the people who tried my patience, maybe I would have seen how much pain they were in. If only I had spent more time forgiving and less time holding on to anger for something I can’t even remember. If only I had seized more opportunities to give to those in need. If only I had spent more time reading and listening to the Word of God. If only I hadn’t rolled my eyes when people tried to tell me how much God loved me. If only I hadn’t given up on that family member that kept breaking my heart. If only I had prayed more. If only I realized that I didn’t have more time.
As I lay in the back of an ambulance, while a paramedic shocks my heart to get it to restart, I realize that my life has always been in God’s hands. I’m hoping that God will have mercy on me as I feel my spirit leaving my body. I’m praying that He will bring me back and give me more time, time that I will no longer waste. I know now, how precious time is. Time is meant to be spent loving, forgiving, learning, growing, helping, giving and praising God.
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” Psalm 95:7-8 NIV
“You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted, you encourage them and you listen to their cry.” Psalm 10:17 NIV
This week, I had planned on writing something entirely different. I had the topic, the scriptures and the words that would soothe the soul and bring encouragement. It was going to be eloquent and profound. I sat at the computer to write but then life happened…
Everything I wanted to say felt fake and contrite. I struggled all week but the right words refused to come out. The more life happened, the more the words eluded me.
So, it’s now Wednesday and I’m still at a loss for words. I don’t know if I want to curse or to cry or whether I should give up or continue to fight. I’m sitting here angry, broken-hearted and disappointed with life. What can I say to encourage you? What can I say to encourage myself?
I can say that God is still good. Even though my heart is broken, He is still healing. Even though I’m unsure about my life, He is still guiding me. Even when I’m at my worst, He is still at His best. Even though I feel as if I’m alone in my struggles, He is still holding me in His hands.
Keep looking up my sisters and brothers in Christ. God still loves us and He hasn’t abandoned us. The sun will shine again, just keep praising Him.
“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.” Psalm 30:11-12 NIV