Reconciliation

Resolution is Not a Two Way Street

Romans 12:18 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.

I didn’t know what I was going write about today, but God in His goodness (and sometimes cheekiness) knew and gave this to me on a very personal level. This is my testimony of how the Holy Spirit has been working in me.

God gave me this verse a number of months ago prior to losing a very close relationship with two friends. I loved these friends, as much as I could feel love at that time. Then, a spirit of seperation entered into the situation. Harsh words were spoken and the rift began to grow. Circumstances that followed the beginning of the rift, only served to widen the gap until it felt as though we were sepereated by a giant, uncrossable chasm. I was absolutely bereft. It was during this time that my oldest son left to be a US Marine. As you can imagine, the pain I was experiencing seemed insurmountable. I had just lost my two best friends, and my son. I heaped all of this pain onto them. I became angry on the surface but the real feeling was a deep sense of loss and hurt. I was broken. I felt I had done nothing to cause any of what was going on, and I may not have, but the fact remained that I blamed them for my anguish. This, for the past year, has held a grip on me. I just thought after a while, that it would always be this way. I thought the pain was here to stay.

Then it happened. God reminded me of this verse last week and also told me that I was holding onto unforgiveness and He said, “This is not yours. This is not what I want for you. I have shown you love, it’s your turn.” So, I said to Him, “OK, but I need You to orchestrate the meeting. It has to be done supernaturally because, I am sorry but I just can’t do this on my own.”

I had thought about this on and off since last week but I didn’t seriously consider it until today happened. Upon picking up my youngest son from school I had decided we would go have coffee together. I asked him, “Where do you want to go?” My heart did a flip flop, and I knew God was giving me the opportunity to follow what He wanted me to do when my son answered, “The Cafe'” I knew my old friends would be there. God, was also giving me an out. I could have easily told my son, “No, lets go somewhere else.” But, because of my experience with God, I knew the right thing to do was to honor Him and ask forgiveness for my part, which was the anger, and the hurt I had been holding onto.

I was surprised to say the least, at the reaction I received going into the Cafe’. They welcomed us. We ordered and I chatted with some other people I hadn’t seen in quite some time. During this time, God reminded me that as far as it depends on me, that means, I have no control over what they do or how they respond, but only my part. Before leaving, I asked for forgiveness. Specifically, I said, “Will you forgive me for my hurt and anger”. She turned to me and said, “Yes.” Simple as that. I am really glad that I followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit. God is a God of healing. He can heal relationsips. He can restore burnt bridges. I don’t know if I have truely been forgiven by her or not but I forgive both of them and God is healing me. Whatever happens now, is in God’s hands. It always was, but I had free will. I am glad I chose God’s will over my own. I don’t know if the relationship will be retored or not and that is OK with me because, I know now that as far as my part, I can live at peace. I can explore the fullness of God’s love in my life, and I am learning what it means to live and love unconditionally. Wether or not the love is reciprocated, I know that Jesus is proud of me and I know that I will be OK.

From Complaint to Praise

Do everything without complaining or arguing
Do everything without complaining or arguing

One of the most important lessons I have learned is to trust Jesus. I have learned to lean on God’s understanding rather than my own, but like most people I am not perfect. Sometimes, I act like a stubborn child and I love how the Lord reacts. God never corrects with shame, guilt, or condemnation. Instead, he corrects in a way that makes me feel more loved and cherished. He responds in a way that makes me want to do better next time. Let me give you a recent example of an experience I had with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

First, I was at work when I learned that we would be having the weekend off. God had already been telling me that I needed to rest but I, in my human thinking, had decided that I really needed to work the weekend to pay off some debt. Well, let me tell you; God was having none of that and orchestrated for me to have three full days and two nights off work. Before the time off came, the Holy Spirit lead me to read in the Bible the story of the mustard seed. What this says is that, though it is the smallest of seeds, when it grows up its branches are huge enough for the birds of the air to find rest in. It is a parable to illustrate how the smallest seed of truth in God’s word can become a protective place with God but to me at that time the Holy Spirit was telling me that the coming rest was from God. He strongly advised that I take the rest. He can be quite stubborn Himself, I assure you!

When I learned of the time off, I complained to a co-worker, “I can’t afford that!” I was basically grumbling. This was on a Monday. During the week, my work station was changed over to very heavy parts. After 3 days of that I was asked to work in a station where a male coworker had gone home sick. These parts were heavier, then on the last day I was asked to spend two hours working the heaviest parts in the shop. As I left the shop that Friday I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude toward God for the time off. It was only then that I remembered what He had been telling me.

1. You need rest.

2. I will make the rest possible.

3. I know the end from the beginning. Trust me.

So, first the Father told me I needed rest. Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me and guided me in reading and understanding from God’s point of view the parable of the mustard seed and how it related to me. Finally, Jesus orchestrated the whole thing and had me praising God for His kindness the entire drive home.  I was so happy to be going home for a few days off.

Now, it occurs to me that, my complaining to the coworker did not show my trust in God to the outside world. I am called to give face to Jesus. I am called to live above that of complaining and grumbling. I am called to say what I hear the Father say and do what I see the Father doing. It would have been better, instead of grumbling, to ask, “Jesus, what do you think about this?” and to seek an attitude of gratefulness from the beginning. The bible tells us to give thanks in all things. I am truly glad that I was taught this lesson. I don’t feel guilty for complaining and God does not hold it against me. Instead, I really understand now that when He wants me to rest it is for my own good.