Get out the silver, fine china, linen table cloths and crystal goblets! In MY case, plastic spoons, paper plates, dollar store table coverings and clear disposable cups! I’ll prepare a beautiful “gourmet meal”, which can only mean fried chicken, BBQ, and chocolate brownies:). I love to have company over. Several months back, we had around twenty five passionate marriage advocates, who partner with us in our walk with FamilyLife, come to our home for training and fellowship. The house and the garage was full of laughter, tears, and a whole lot of grease, sugar and nonhealthy food as we sat around the tables sharing our visions and God’s plan for marriages.
That Saturday morning, I woke up early at 5:30 a.m., just to make sure everything was dusted, pillows fluffed perfectly on the sofa with all the tags facing the back, and even the toys, and knick knacks rested in perfect place. But (well, let’s make that a BIG BUT) do you have those cluttery things that you hold on to or just can’t get rid of? You think you might need it, so you toss it aside or shove it in a drawer or closet until later? The entire time I was straightening up, I was thinking, Lord don’t let someone need a utensil from a kitchen drawer! Or while they are exploring the house, God forbid anyone DARE attempt to open the hall closet upstairs! With all the junk compacted in there it would surely come crashing down! I can vision it now. Someone unmistakably opens the wrong door and a ten pound bowling ball comes tumbling on top of their head or they are attacked by a broken killer baby stroller. OUCH, talk about an injury or even DEATH! Even worse, what about if it made the Sunday paper? "This just in to our news wire, Pastor Scott Jennings with The Bridge Church has passed away. Reports say he was opening a closet door at the Weeks' home when the young pastor was sudenly struck on the noggin!!" I have always had a vivid imagination. I can’t imagine why we continue to hold onto this stuff. Old school projects, I have clothes from every size that I just keep dreaming I’m going to fit again, mismatched socks , broken toys, coupons……. I just need to LET IT GO!!
It kind of reminds me of unforgiveness. Why do we harbor those bitter feelings for so long? I have dear friends right now who will not speak to each other because a harsh word that caused hurt has come between them. Let me even go as far to say some of it is based on fiction and not fact. I have even found myself in the crossfire. If I speak to one, well, the other will not speak to me. So I find myself at times walking on eggshells with both of them. It makes my heart heavy that these good Christian women have allowed Satan to assault their relationship. Even the marriages of some of the couples we mentor are being destroyed because they just will not ask for, or accept forgiveness from their spouse.
I am not without guilt, my own marriage was attacked years ago by my lack of forgiveness. I would often give refuge to feelings of resentment and bitterness. I understand needing time to work through the pain and loss. I can even name several reasons why we try to postpone forgiveness. BUT,GLORY,( I love big BUTS), I can also share with you the peace and the happiness that is brought about by learning to forgive. Forgiveness just doesn’t come easy, yet we are commanded to forgive whether we feel like it or not! I have seen people ruin their health and even their lives by holding onto the bitterness. I am a firm believer that granting forgiveness releases God to do his work in me.
Friends isn’t it time to Just let it go and trust God to complete the work. Who do you need to call up today, drop a note, or stop by to share forgiveness? Bev:)
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13