I just returned to my office from the Henry Fork Service Center. I go there every week in the summer to do the Children’s Sermon as they start their day off right. Today, I showed them a neat trick. I took a glass of clear water and told them that was how I imagined our lives before we started making mistakes. We once had a clean slate and had not done one thing wrong. Then, I put a drop of red dye in the cup. I explained that is what our mistakes do. They invade our lives and it is nearly impossible to get rid of those sins. To show them the power of forgiveness, I dumped a little bit of bleach in the cup and they were awed as the water turned clear again. That is what forgiveness can do in our lives. It kind of cleans up some of the mess we have made.
As I read in 2 Samuel last week, I was dumbstruck at the very terrible things King David did. I will not list all his failings but let us say that they would land any of us in jail for a long time today. What is hard to believe is that God chose to forgive David for every mistake. I should also mention that he still had to suffer the consequences for what he did.
While I was looking down my nose at King David, suddenly, I remembered some of my own mistakes. Many years ago, I said some not-so-nice things about a friend. Unfortunately, that friend found out what I had said. However, I can honestly say that we are still friends to this day because I asked for forgiveness and it was shown to me. It is amazing what forgiveness can do in our lives.
Several years prior to that mistake, I made another big one. I was dating a very nice girl and I dumped her. She had every reason to be upset at me, and I figured she would be quite perturbed. I went to take all her things back to her house, including her softball bat. I remember driving to her house, picturing her father chasing me down the road with that softball bat. However, she must have chosen the path of forgiveness, because she eventually would marry me and be the best friend I have ever had. Her dad forgave me as well and never fussed at me.
Jesus seemed to be quite pleased to be in the forgiveness business and it honestly does not surprise me. In fact, he was still busy forgiving the very people who killed him while he hung on the cross. It is truly mind-boggling what forgiveness can do. It cannot undo the damage that we leave in our wake. However, it can make healing, new beginnings, and hope possible.
With a world that seems to be constantly in turmoil, I cannot imagine anything we need much more than forgiveness. It worked for David and it has helped this ol’ boy out many times. In this season of growth, let forgiveness grow in your life as you receive and give it!