Thursday, March 1, 2007

How To Forgive?

One day a while back, a man, his heart heavy with grief, was walking in
the woods. As he thought about his life this day, he knew many things
were not right. He thought about those who had lied about him back when
he had a job.

His thoughts turned to those who had stolen his things and cheated him.

He remembered family that had passed on. His mind turned to the illness
he had that no one could cure. His very soul was filled with anger,
resentment and frustration.

Standing there this day, searching for answers he could not find,
knowing all else had failed him, he knelt at the base of an old oak tree
to seek the one he knew would always be there. And with tears in his
eyes, he prayed:

"Lord- You have done wonderful things for me in this life. You have told
me to do many things for you, and I happily obeyed. Today, you have told
me to forgive. I am sad, Lord, because I cannot. I don't know how. It is
not fair Lord. I didn't deserve these wrongs that were done against me
and I shouldn't have to forgive. As perfect as your way is Lord, this
one thing I cannot do, for I don't know how to forgive. My anger is so
deep Lord, I fear I may not hear you, but I pray that you teach me to do
this one thing I cannot do - Teach me To Forgive."

As he knelt there in the quiet shade of that old oak tree, he felt
something fall onto his shoulder. He opened his eyes. Out of the corner
of one eye, he saw something red on his shirt.

He could not turn to see what it was because where the oak tree had been
was a large square piece of wood in the ground. He raised his head and
saw two feet held to the wood with a large spike through them.

He raised his head more, and tears came to his eyes as he saw Jesus
hanging on a cross. He saw spikes in His hands, a gash in His side, a
torn and battered body, deep thorns sunk into His head. Finally he saw
the suffering and pain on His precious face As their eyes met, the
man's tears turned to sobbing, and Jesus began to speak.

"Have you ever told a lie?" He asked? The man answered - "yes, Lord."
"Have you ever been given too much change and kept it?" The man
answered - " yes. Lord." And the man sobbed more and more. "Have you
ever taken something from work that wasn't yours?" Jesus asked? And the
man answered - "yes, Lord." "Have you ever sworn, using my Father's
name in vain?" The man, crying now, answered - "yes, Lord."

As Jesus asked many more times, "Have you ever"? The man's crying became
uncontrollable, for he could only answer - "yes, Lord."

Then Jesus turned His head from one side to the other, and the man felt
something fall on his other shoulder. He looked and saw that it was the
blood of Jesus. When he looked back up, his eyes met those of Jesus, and
there was a look of love the man had never seen or known before.

Jesus said, "I didn't deserve this either, but I forgive you."

It may be hard to see how you're going to get through something, but
when you look back in life, you realize how true this statement is. Read
the following first line slowly and let it sink in.

If God brings you to it - He will bring you through it.