Friday, March 8, 2013

Freedom Roots and Bitterness

Showering.  It's where quiet time happens.  The majority of my uninterrupted time is spent there.  And, let's face it, the acoustics are *amazing.*  I can sing my heart out, offerings of praise rising to heaven along with the steam.  :-)

As I began to pray, I finally realized what I'd been trying so hard not to admit, "They broke my heart, LORD."  I had never put it in those words before.  Hot tears slid down my face as I gave Him the brokenness of my heart. I didn't want to confess it, because I didn't want it to be true.  I also knew I had a root of bitterness in my soul, and try as I might, it wasn't going anywhere 




Yet as I laid my heart bare before Him, He instructed me gently, "Pray for them."

Oh, that.  To be perfectly honest, I didn't want to - I had before, though truth be told, much more in the beginning than as of late.

"'s going to be ugly."

"I know."

"And I don't want to pray anything I shouldn't."

Hmmmm.  "Should I call my best friend? mentor?" I wondered.  Someone flesh and blood to put their arm around me and pray with me?

"I'm right here," He gently offered. His presence was so real. His love.  His grace.  His mercy.  His welcoming.  His faithfulness.  His love.  Him.   He was enough.

So I did.  I started praying for them.  Some words came easily and others were stilted and gutteral, but they came nonetheless, and as I poured out the dark contents of my heart, He filled it with His healing balm of love and mercy. And I as I felt relief, I wondered if it would last.  Would I wake up the next day and feel horrible all over again?

Because, in truth, I know a lot of verses about forgiveness.  But I also know what it's like to wake up and not *feel* like doing it.  To have all those fiery darts and accusations and reminders of words spoken and injuries incurred and to want to give into the ugliness.  But more than that, I want to walk like Jesus walked.  I want to look like Him.  He forgave.  He loved.  He died for us while we were yet sinners! And I want to obey Him.  His command is simple, "forgive." Even if you never get an apology.  

The beauty of it all is that He strengthens us through His Spirit to be rooted and grounded in love.  His love pushes out the roots of bitterness and fills us with the fullness of Himself.  It's His power that works in us to obey Him.  Specifically, to dig out the root of bitterness and unforgiveness and to have His love for others, yes, especially the ones who hurt you. 

It's so healing and freeing!  The next day when I woke up? His fullness and grace was shielding me from those fiery darts.  That "stuff?"  It's not mine anymore.  I gave it to Him.  And that, my friends, is freedom.

Ephesians 3:14-21 "For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."


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