For those of you who wonder why I pick the pictures I do…this critter was resting on the path as I walked in beautiful Miami last year.
Here I was, enjoying the sun and warmth and green of Florida in February when this thing, that was just being what it is, kind of added a new element of yuk to my happy.
If you are cool with snakes and lizards and all things reptile, God bless you. In my rational mind I know they serve a purpose and were created by the same amazing Creator as I was…but I would prefer they stay completely out of my sight and presence.
Thank you very much.
And now I am going to jump to the topic of today which is forgiveness and just keep that visual of my scaly, path-sharing nemesis in mind.
Today I did a Facebook live thing on Session 6 from Finding God Faithful and shared about the video teaching this week.
Kelly opens with a conversation she had with a young participant in the Joseph study who asked her when she thought Joseph forgave his brothers.
As she pondered it with this teen, they mused if it was when he was making the trek to Egypt as a purchased slave…was it in Potipher’s house…or in prison? Was it when Pharaoh got involved and Joseph could begin to see God’s plan working out? Or was it when he saw the brothers standing in front of him asking for food for their families?
Kelly shares that they agreed it had to be all of the above.
She talks about how at each stage along the way of the 22 years between the time the brothers first threw him into the pit until he faced them again in the role of Pharoah’s right hand man, Joseph would have worked through a process of forgiveness.
He would have had to go to God over and over with the hurt and the questions and the pain of what had happened and what might have been; facing what was taken from him and yet keeping his heart tender and renewing his trust that God was still sovereign.
She states what we all know but sometimes need to be reminded of…
Forgiveness is a process.
Often when the hurt rises up again in some of my personal stories of betrayal, or I am reminded, because of an old photograph or a conversation, that a choice was made by another person and now I live with a loss of some kind…I tend to berate myself and consider that my “forgiveness” was phony.
Like that lizard up above, I can be going on and think I have moved past the pain and am walking in forgiveness when suddenly something pops up along the path and reminds me afresh of what was taken from us.
I love the way Kelly’s study and video remind me that our stories are on-going and even when we forgive someone, there will be places where we have to lean back hard into God and deal with a new reminder of how we were wronged.
I think of the ways I have hurt others or let them down and I would hope that when they remember my offense, they would not hold it against me all over again but would find the strength in God to forgive me and extend me grace and mercy.
I want to do the same.
And the reason for all of us to do this is because Christ died ONCE for ALL.
Think about that.
He doesn’t die every time one of us sins.
He died ONCE.
And we live in THAT amazing grace and forgiveness all the time.
So that out of that mercy, we can extend mercy, grace and forgiveness…
every time we are reminded of the offense.
One baby step at a time until we finally make it home <3