For He Himself has said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Some days ago, I listened to a testimony that I had actually heard a year or so ago. It came from a young lady who had been adopted as a baby into a loving and caring family. Years later, when she got older, she decided to look for her birth mother. When she found her, they had a beautiful time of catching up but then she found out what had really happened. Her mother had become pregnant at the age of thirteen. Her mother's mother told her that the only solution was an abortion. So, at five months pregnant, she and her mother went to an abortion clinic together and the abortion was successfully done. Some weeks later, while at school her mom’s friend sensed something was wrong and encouraged her to visit the doctor to make sure everything was okay. They were shocked to learn that yes, the abortion was successful, but she was still pregnant with another baby ... she had been pregnant with twins! Because the amniotic fluid contained in the sack which holds the baby had been broken she had not been receiving the nutrients she was supposed to be receiving. She was born some weeks later at three pounds two ounces, with dislocated hips and clubbed feet. When she was born she had to wear a harness for her hips and a cast for her feet. For the next couple of years, she would wear casts, even body casts, to help form her body back together. The interesting thing is that after learning all of this she chose to forgive her mother. Her mother in turn, however, took a few years before she could receive that forgiveness.
Life happens. God doesn’t expect perfection from us as much as we expect it from ourselves. We can’t always choose what our story would be, but we can choose to make the best of it. Like that girl’s mother, we all make mistakes. Some mistakes are more tragic than others yet there is no mistake that God cannot forgive or that He will refuse to forgive.
As I listened to her testimony, I heard in that girl’s voice a love for her mother. I heard a thankfulness for life in spite of her mother and grandmother’s best efforts to destroy her. It’s actually the same with God. If God had to talk about us, we would hear the love in His voice for us, His joy that we are His and that He is ours. When God forgives He truly forgives but sadly we are the ones who have a hard time forgiving ourselves. God has chosen us, we have not chosen Him. He has chosen us from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), even though He knew we would fail, we would mess up.
I keep going back to the story of David because there is so much to be learned from his story. He was a man after God’s own heart, yet he committed adultery and murder and tried to cover it up (2 Samuel 11). When he met with an arrogant, disagreeable man called Nabal, he got so angry he was prepared to destroy the man and all the men in his household (1 Samuel 25:1-22). On top of that, he didn’t handle his family very well and almost lost his kingdom to one of his sons (2 Samuel 15 & 18). David’s life was certainly colorful but that didn’t stop God from loving him and taking him through every tragedy and mistake he faced.
Nothing can stop God from loving us and from forgiving us. He forgives us and moves on and even uses the mistakes we have made to bring about some of our greatest testimonies, just like that mother who unsuccessfully tried to abort her daughter. It was a tragedy for the twin that was killed but for the one who survived, it has been an opportunity to tell the world about God’s mercy and love.
No matter how you have messed up, God is able to take that horrible mess and turn it into a wonderful testimony that encourages and comforts others. Or maybe someone has hurt you and you find it so hard to forgive. I realize that one of the things that God does with me sometimes is to allow me to struggle in some area. Why? To remind me that I too am struggling with sin just like the person I am struggling to forgive is struggling with sin. We are in the same struggle together. Our sin may be different, but it is still a struggle in the flesh.
Forgiveness does liberate, it does set free, but it is also a choice not a feeling. And when we make that first step to choose to forgive, God will always come alongside us to help us the rest of the way. I have struggled with unforgiveness for years until God came alongside me and helped me to finally understand how to forgive and to actually do it. It was so liberating it was tangible but it is still a work in progress. I have also experienced God’s forgiveness over the years and that too has been liberating, like a burden being lifted. I read a quote from an unknown author recently which simply says: "Forgiveness is not something we do for other people, it is something we do for ourselves so we can move on." If unforgiveness is holding you back today, cut loose from it so you can be free to move on. You have absolutely nothing to lose.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as Lord and Savior please do so now. There is no sin that you have committed that will cause Him to turn His back on you. He still wants you. He still chooses to love you. Accept Him today and experience a love and mercy that will truly set you free!
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.