Grace Helped Me Forgive and Forget
By Kathy Carlton Willis
Have you ever experienced the heartache of betrayal—the loneliness of rejection? If you've ever had a hurt heart, you know how precious the pursuit of grace can be. I recently faced yet another zinger—a woman who zapped me because she thought she had to tell me a tidbit to flaunt something, knowing it would pick at a wound and upset me. As I asked God to show me what I was to learn from it, God whispered to me, "Grace, child. I want you to learn grace."
He reminded me of the time He gave me an abundance of grace when there was no human possibility for working up self-sourced forgiveness and love. A deacon joined in a campaign to try to rid the church of us—the agenda was to vote out my husband as pastor. We learned they were known as the "preacher-eating church" in town because of their short turnaround time with pastors. At that point, Russ had been there the second longest of any pastor in their 50-year history. It was our time to go! But we were just getting started in our ministry there and had planned to be there for the long haul.
That entire experience required a lot of grace, more grace than I had at the time. Not that grace wasn't available to me—God always provides an abundance of grace for the circumstances He allows us to face. I'm certain in my pain I messed up plenty, all on my own. But there's one thing that I managed to get right, and that's why I know it was a God thing. No way could this mere mortal have orchestrated it!
The deacon and his family owned a company in town and had a fleet of easily recognized vehicles. One day not long after we were voted out of the church, we drove by the hospital and saw one of their trucks in the parking lot. My first inclination was to pray. My second thought was, "Do they need someone to hold their hands? Who do they turn to in their time of medical need when they are in between pastors?" I voiced my concerns, and Russ explained the truck was there because the company was contracted to do work at the hospital—not because of an emergency or health problem.
Whew! I was so relieved. And then it hit me. That's what grace feels like in an everyday situation. I was genuinely concerned for them. I loved them despite what they had done to us. I prayed for them. I cared. I'm not saying that as a brag on self but as a brag on God—and more specifically on God's grace. It was a beautiful heart transaction—He had deposited into my spiritual checking account just what I needed for the occasion. No longer did I feel like that account was depleted. It didn't have insufficient funds. There was an abundance of grace—more than enough for the situation.
God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace (1 Peter 1:2 NLT).
May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1:2 NLT).
Copyright © 2015 by Kathy Carlton Willis. Used by permission. Visit Kathy's Blog on CBN.com - Grin and Grow with Kathy
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Kathy Carlton Willis writes with a balance of funny and faith—whimsy and wisdom. She shines the light on issues that hold believers back. Learn more about Kathy at http://www.kathycarltonwillis.com/.
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