Thursday, January 14, 2016
I have struggled to write and it's evident by the fact that I haven't written here for well over a year! Please forgive me as I feel led to write about forgiveness! We are finally going to trial in Mom & Dad's case. Jury selection will be next week. Opening statements will begin Monday January 25th. While it's a few days later than expected, I am anxiously awaiting an end to this part. Even though it will not change anything, it will be a relief to have this over with.
On Tuesday of this week my cousin's daughter, Robin Casey, died. She was far too young and leaves behind a precious 3 year old boy and 5 year old girl. It is heartbreaking, to say the least. While losing Mom & Dad the way we did was tragic, at least they had lived long, full lives. Robin did not have that opportunity and now her beautiful children have to grow up without their sweet Mama!
Oh, the brevity of life! I am struck all over again by the fact that we do not know what tomorrow holds! I am grateful that I serve a Sovereign God! He was not surprised when Mom and Dad were stabbed to death in their own little home and He was not surprised when Robin took her last breath. I am reminded all over again the depth of trust that we MUST place in our Lord!
I have also been thinking of forgiveness as I will face the young man accused of killing my parents. I taught on it last week when I went to the jail. It was more for me than it was for the wonderful women in our Bible study there. We do not know when it may be too late to offer forgiveness! We may not live until tomorrow!
The Bible has much to say about forgiveness. In teaching on prayer in Matthew 6, Jesus gives us The Lord's Prayer. It's a prayer we are all familiar with but it's followed by 2 little verses that we often want to overlook. Matthew 6:14-15 (New Living Translation): If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
The Message version reads: Matthew 6:14-15 In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.
The bottom line is if we not only want God to hear our prayers, but if we want His forgiveness for our sins, we have to forgive others. This is not a suggestion. It is a command. It does not offer any exceptions either. They didn't ask me for forgiveness...they didn't apologize for what they did...they refuse to forgive me for things I did so I will not forgive them...etc. No excuse is good enough. We must forgive. Period.
Who do you need to forgive? Oh my friend, offer forgiveness today before it is too late. You may not be given tomorrow.
Lord, help me to genuinely forgive Jose Huckleberry even AFTER I hear all the details of how Mom & Dad were murdered. May he come to know Your saving grace that he will be forgiven as You have forgiven me of so much! May the one reading this offer forgiveness to those You bring to mind so they, too, will be forgiven. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
Mark 11:25 (The Voice) When you pray, if you remember anyone who has wronged you, forgive him so that God above can also forgive you.