“So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. For because of our faith, he has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”Romans 5.1-5 (TLB)
Have you experienced true reconciliation? That time when you see forgiveness extended in the eyes of another? When you extend forgiveness to someone else. Have you felt the release of stored-up emotion and the change? Profound tears abound on both sides. And in some cases, on the opposite side of an empty chair.
Whether it be with an elderly parent and an adult child, an adult and another family member, spouses, siblings, or another traumatic life event, it’s transformative. The culmination of hard work in counseling, especially for the person holding on to the past, the pain, you name the emotion or event.
It’s emotional and challenging work to move to a place of a balanced perspective. It takes some people longer than others. It includes validating facts, feelings, and the reality of the event. It’s not about forgetting or ignoring it but facing it head-on. One person described it as “facing a roaring lion behind the door they held shut, believing to let it out would devour them.” It wasn’t the roaring lion they perceived, and it didn’t devour them as they believed it would. But that’s our effort, and it’s good. However, God has a way of moving in the middle of all that. Because it’s not about our work, albeit it occurs, it’s about His work in and through us.
Have you faced your lion head-on and embraced it, experienced change? Can you exclaim as others have, “I am the beautiful person that He designed despite those events?” Experienced reconciliation, forgiveness, or restoration. Especially when the person who was injured has long passed?
Without minimizing the injury or the fact of the event, we choose. It’s simple but a hard choice. To just let it go and lay the demand at the foot of the cross. Not an easy decision, one many avoid for years, decades, and some nearly their entire life.
But they did. The work and struggles were real and hard-fought. They changed. A heart metamorphosis. The pouring out of God’s love into their hearts or the hearts of others. The Spirit softened hearts and transformed their lives, which rippled into every other relationship. It not only changed them but others. Those they knew and those they met.
He transformed them. He can and will change you.
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