One evening I pulled into our driveway and was surprised when my vehicle would no longer move forward. Before you ask, it wasn’t because I bumped into the building!
Eventually the vehicle did move but there was a resistance that felt like something was holding it back. The brake wasn’t engaged so the problem had to be with the transmission. Once it was serviced, everything was good again.
This made me think of times I’ve been moving full speed ahead in my life and suddenly felt a resistance that stopped me in my tracks. Looking back, I realize this was caused by a different kind of transmission problem. It had nothing to do with a motor, but with a message that was being transmitted to me.
Many times I have set my own course and not stopped to pray about it. God has been patient with me when I made mistakes that wouldn’t have occurred if I had been relying on him. When it feels like something is holding me back, I need to stop and evaluate if this is God’s way of letting me know I’m not heading in the right direction.
He is always willing to forgive my disobedience and set my life back on track. By being tuned into his transmission of love and guidance my journey of life will be much smoother.
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! (Psalm 32:1-2 NLT)
There is a creek close to my house with a paved path that runs alongside it. Many people enjoy walking and biking along this path.
This spring when the weather warmed, removing all traces of frost from the ground, a hole appeared in a low-lying area of the pavement. Over a period of several weeks the hole became so large that a portion of the path had to be closed.
My understanding is that the damage was the result of a frost heave. When the ice crystals in the ground melted, the ground became soft. This undermined the surface, causing collapse.
My life has sometimes suffered this same kind of effect. There have been times when bitterness or hurt feelings have caused my heart to grow cold. This frostiness permeated my life and soon my demeanor was bleak and cold.
The act of forgiveness was able to melt the ice and warm my heart again. What I needed to remember was the damage the frost had done. It had undermined the loving kindness I wanted to exhibit. Repairs to relationships didn’t happen instantly.
Over time, as I let the light of Jesus shine in and through me, his radiance filled in the hollow spaces. What had once been undermined was now restored. The warmth of his love was then able to overflow and spread peace in my life and to those around me.
“‘“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’(Numbers 6:24-26 NIV)
When we packed for our vacation my husband put a new tube of toothpaste in his toiletries bag. After checking into our hotel and unpacking we realized that the tube had been punctured. I cleaned the mess in his bag while he did a quick repair on the tube by putting a band-aid on it.
Looking at the toothpaste tube I found it amusing to see the words repair and protect on the tube that had a band-aid wrapped around it. We don’t know how long this temporary measure will last but it serves the purpose for now.
Later I pondered the deeper meaning in this. There have been situation in my life where an emotional wound has been caused. Repairing it properly is more than I want to deal with at the time, so I apply a temporary fix. This band-aid approach seems to work. It’s quick, easy and I don’t have to examine the wound.
What I have failed to realize is that these wounds fester not properly cleaned fester under the surface and flare up at unexpected moments. When someone has hurt me I have a choice. I can turn my back on them, thus using the band-aid solution, or I can choose forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the tougher choice but the only one that will enable me to be whole and healthy again. This is not a quick fix but something I man need to do over and over until the process is complete.
It is also a biblical principle. Jesus tells us to repeatedly forgive. He set the example and is the one that can guide me through this process.
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! Matthew 18:21-22 NLT
My husband and I love the fresh fruit available at this time of year and had both peaches and plums in fruit bowls on the kitchen counter. Within days our kitchen was teeming with fruit flies. “Where did they come from,” we asked? It seems they had appeared out of nowhere.
I decided to learn a little about these insects and found out that they can detect the smell of ripe produce from quite a distance away. They are so tiny that they can get into the house through window screens or crevices around windows or doors. When they want in, they’ll find a way. Once inside they start to reproduce and before we know it we have an infestation of fruit flies.
This reminds me of things that I have let into my life that aren’t good for me. They enter when my defenses are down. Since they start out as little things they can sneak in without me even realizing it. Then they multiply and soon my life is teeming with attitudes and actions that are not pleasant. Once they get a hold of me it isn’t easy to get rid of them.
On my own I can’t keep the negative things out of my life or eliminate them once they have become an infestation. I’m thankful that when I bring everything to God, he forgives me and rids me of the wrong I’ve done. The closer I stay to him, the less chance there is of these things becoming problematic again.
God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong. 1 John 1:9 GWT
While on vacation, the sign on a door near the elevator caught my attention. There were only two words on it – Trash Room. I’m sure that most people wouldn’t give this a second thought. My thoughts, however, seem to go in different directions from most!
I immediately thought of all the trash that I collect in my mind. There are things that I hold onto that would be much better thrown out with the trash. Negative thoughts, self doubts and hurt feelings don’t serve a useful purpose in my life. Regrets from the past are not helping me to move forward. Perhaps a trash room where I could dispose of them would be a good idea.
Upon thinking about this, I realized that I don’t need a whole room dedicated to trash removal. What I have is so much better. I can take my sorrows, regrets and sins and lay them at the feet of Jesus. When I do, he promises to remove them as far as the east is from the west. Not only are they taken away, they are also forgiven and then forgotten so I need never deal with them again.
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12 NIV