When I sensed the Lord wanting to share what’s on my heart this morning, my reaction was “OH NO LORD!”
It’s not easy being vulnerable, but as always, my desire is to obey as I know He wants to use this blog to minister to His people.
I am feeling so sad today as I think about my sister Linda and my brother in law emigrating from Zimbabwe to The States in three weeks’ time. She will be the last of my siblings to leave Africa. My younger sister Lynette, my brother Rocky, and my son Jordan, all now live in England. I have family and friends living in Australia, New Zealand, The States, England, Portugal, and India.
Linda had sent us several photos reminiscing on precious memories growing up as siblings. She sent photos of us with our families having fun and doing life together. I’m feeling sad as I watch my grandkids growing up without their cousins and family here, the experiences they would have enjoyed and shared if we had all been together. Yes, they have a church family and community which does make all the difference but so very different to the way we grew up and did life.
Shortly after Robert Mugabe died, I was approached by a well-meaning and caring South African who told me “Zimbabweans have to forgive Mugabe. God calls us to forgive and He tells us that’s it’s not up to us to judge. Only He has the right to judge”.
To my incredible and horrendeous surprise, I found myself seething with unexpected anger. I politely replied and walked away. In the following two weeks, God began to expose what was in my heart and began to deal with me! Why was I so angry, so bitter and so livid?
The greatest tragedy for me personally, regarding Zimbabwe, has not been the liberation of its people from racialism to oppression from those same liberators who had promised much and have not delivered. It has not been the murders, rights taken away, the lack of democracy, the broken down economy, the hatred stirred up between the races, the difference between the poor, the middle class or the upper class. It has not been the erosion of a beautiful country. The greatest tragedy for me has been the splitting up of families and the loss of dreams and of hopes. I guess for a lot of us it has been a time of grieving as we let go of the old dreams and learn to dream new dreams. We’re constantly learning to let go of the old to embrace the new.
My first response to God when He asked me to forgive was “OH NO! LORD!”
Yes, I have slowly come to that place of choosing to forgive despite how I feel or think. I find myself recalling what I tell my clients when they battle with unforgiveness: “Unforgiveness is like carrying a dead man on your back, you feel the weight. He doesn’t!”
Forgiveness is a choice and yet it is also a process. Yes I know we get told this often but it’s so true regardless of how we feel or think! I recall David who had been given a promise that one day he would be king. When he had the chance to kill King Saul, he chose not to, and when he heard about Saul’s death, this is what he chose to do:
2 Samuel 1:11-12 NKJV
“Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.”
When God asks me not to judge I find myself saying:
“OH NO, LORD!”
Regarding judgment, we will never ever know this side of life, whether the person who has hurt us, betrayed us, and who have let us down will ever repent of their actions but we can rest assured that God sees and knows. We can leave Him to judge because He is the holy and just one. We all will one day stand before His throne to give an account of our lives.
I sensed God wanting to speak to those who are struggling with bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, and resentment today. Are you battling with forgiving that spouse who had an affair, who abused you, who disappointed you in some way? Are you struggling to let go of that betrayal by a friend, a colleague, or a family member? Are you fighting to forgive your child, your parents, and your siblings? Are you not able to let go of the debt owed to you by those who have accused you unfairly and seem to be getting away with it?
I sense Him saying:
“Give it all to me my child. Let that debt that is owed to you go. I see your heart, your struggle to forgive. Come to me. I will help you. You cannot do this on your own”.
For those of you who are struggling with hopelessness today I sense God saying:
“Today is the Saturday, after the crucifixion, but tomorrow comes Resurrection Sunday. Only believe and trust me. You will see my glory”.
May you feel His loving arms around you today as you release forgiveness and as you believe.