Monday, 16 April 2012

Learning to Forgive

All that is human in me tends toward hatred. The minute I get hurt or insulted or too-rudely treated, the anger and the self-preservation and the desire for vengeance come bubbling to the surface. Forgive me, Father! How can I say I am your daughter, and harbour these, your bitter enemies, in my heart? When will I learn to respond in love, as Jesus did? When will I learn to turn the other cheek?

I have longed to join you in the battle; together to meet our foe and glorify your great Name by showing the greater strength of Love and the infinite superiority of forgiveness. But just one bitter-tipped arrow through a gap in my armour, and I find myself fighting for the other side - raging and spiteful and eager for revenge. I am no warrior, it seems. Carry me home, Father. Bind up my wounds. Give me the courage I lack - to love through my hurt.

You are my defender. How foolish I am to think I could take better care of myself than you can! Remind me how much love I have received from you, and how much forgiveness. So will I be strengthened to bow myself before you. So will my stubborn heart be melted to your mould. Remind me how you see me, with pity and deep love. Let me see others this way, Father. Let me see their beauty - your beauty expressed in every one of your creations. Give me the same compassion for their weakness that I seek for mine.

Teach my hands to war - not against those that would fight me, but against the evil within me that responds to their hatred. Strengthen my weak and weary heart to love. I will trust in you. I will wait for you.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (1John 4:6)

Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. (Psalm 144:1)

I'm giving you my heart, and all that is within
I lay it all down for the sake of you my King
I'm giving you my dreams, I'm laying down my rights
I'm giving up my pride for the promise of new life

And I surrender all to you, all to you
And I surrender all to you, all to you

I'm singing You this song, I'm waiting at the cross
And all the world holds dear, I count it all as loss
For the sake of knowing You for the glory of Your name
To know the lasting joy, even sharing in Your pain
(Surrender, by Marc James)

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