Collosians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Matthew 6: 14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
I hope you have been keeping well. Well, this feels like that week when the Grace to write is at 150%
Two weeks ago, while seated in a restaurant in town waiting to meet up a friend, I saw a certain girl on a table right across me. She was deep in thought and I swear I saw a tear drop.
I used to belong to that ‘mind your business’ school of thought. If it does not concern me, it is none of my business. Nairobi seems to get this clearly into your head. Assimilation and association. You learn fast. Am still learning to unmind my own business and mind other people’s business that requires minding ( I don’t even make sense to myself, at this point)
As the spirit pushed me to go to her, I kept on thinking of her reaction. What would she think of me? What if she thinks am crazy? This is a public place.
Friends, I have come to learn that you cannot negotiate with God, He always wins. I was so restless that I knew of I walked out, I would not have had any peace. I went to her and asked if i could share the booth with her. She agreed. For around five minutes, I just stared at her. She did not even notice. Or she did. But never showed.
‘Is it so painful?’ I asked.
‘Excuse me?’ She retorted.
‘ Excuse my manners, my name is Debbie. And God says Do not despair. It shall be well!’
‘Who are you? And what makes you think you can just. ….’ She looks up and finds me smiling. She cut short her words.
‘Cause it hurt so bad? Do you think you cannot go through it? Are you feeling helpless, weak?’ I kept going so it would not be awkward
Thank God, she is a born again Christian. She just kept staring at me and then the tears started flowing freely.
I reached out and held her hand. Then leaned in for a hug. It took around ten to fifteen minutes for calmness to take over. I handed her a tissue.
‘Thank You’ She murmured
‘For the tissue? Never mind .’ I chuckled. To just make things comfortable.
If I walked out at this moment, I knew I had done something great. ShSMILED.
‘ Well, for two things. For the tissue and for Obeying God.’ She said
‘Would you like some coffee? It’s cold in here.’ I state crafting hoping she takes the bait.
‘Is this an invitation to talk? Well I could do with a great conversation.’ She gets me.
We order coffee and I start with a proper introduction of who I am and what I do.
Coffee arrives. We bless it and go on.
She is a nurse. Fellowships at JCC and she came here to get away from everything that is happening in her life.
‘What do you do when forgiveness is not forthcoming even after several attempts to make things right as a Christian? ‘ She asks.
The question throws me offguard.
‘Well, what happened? ‘ I ask
‘I still don’t understand. How is it possible for someone you think you have known become a stranger? How can a small misunderstanding blow out of proportion? How can they refuse to listen or just see the great lengths you have gone to seek forgiveness. This person hurt me, I hurt him back ( God forgive me ). But God worked on me and I have been asking for forgiveness both in speech and deed. Twice , the door has been slammed on my face. Today, is one such day.’
‘Who is this person to you? Are they born again?’ I probe.
‘My guy. He claims to be.’ She says.
‘Debbie, the bible asks me to forgive. I have even gone to great extent to make things right. Now, am getting frustrated day in, day out.
‘What was your ideal?’ I ask. Again.
‘To be forgiven too.’ She says.
‘Well, I guess that is where the problem is. You forgave expecting the same. You do realize sometimes it is not that simple. The holy spirit worked on you. Did you find out of the other party invited the helper too? You can only do your part and pray for the other person that God may work on them as He did you.’ I say.
By now, the person I was meant to meet has arrived and I request ten more minutes. To just pray with this girl.
We do. I give her my card and ask her to call me. If and when she needs to talk.
We hug and part.
The day ends and I can’t help but think. The bible gives us scenarios of forgiveness. On how we should act.
Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins
What happens when the other party acts in total disregard of all your effort?
It got me thinking. How many people am I hurting out here simply because I hold onto what man did to me than what Christ did for me?
I also realize that to whom Christ says , ” You are forgiven” . The command , ” sin no more ” comes.
You are not in control of how other people will behave or react. You can only do your part. Staying true and faithful to the author and finisher of your faith.
What I do.
- Pray, pray and pray some more for them. The Bible asks us to not be anxious about anything but with prayer, petitions and supplications make our requests known to God. God is the only one who can change anyone.
- Cancel all expectations. Frustrations find their way home when people don’t behave like we want them to. You have some your part as the holy spirit led.
- Keep a clean heart and clean thoughts. From the abundance of your heart, know every thing will flow. Ask God to renew the right spirit within you.e
- When they reach out, hold onto nothing of the past. Just like Christ tells you the old is gone. Release it as well. Only then can you create the right environment for the new to come in. Our ultimate is to be like Christ.
- Life is in seasons. Sadly there are those that have to leave and that is the way it just is. The season you are in prepares you for the next. Keep the lessons. Keep learning. From a severed relationship, God will be reading beauty for ashes. I never really knew what I went through was preparing me for this girl. But see, now am well capable of handling life and my story and lessons are actually holding someone else together.
- Trust God’s plan. He is omnipresent and omnipresent. Trust me, He knows.
Finally, forget the memes, forget the quotes. Forgiveness is so personal it has to flow from within. It is a gift you give yourself more than the other person.
Stay in His will and in the fullness of time, God makes everything beautiful.
A blessed one, may you have.