Friday, February 26th, 2021
Friends— I am tired! I felt the need to be honest and forthright with you because I want to be authentic in sharing my faith. I engaged in a conversation today about doing this blog series and my struggles with being tired, both physically and mentally. I love doing blog series, especially Advent and Lent as they challenge me to dig deeper and share my faith openly and honestly. I thank God for each person that visits the site and appreciate all the comments. I am also thankful for the opportunities it provides for me and the readers to exchange knowledge. The tiredness I speak about comes from expecting too much from myself instead of allowing others help me. I love my friends and I’m always ready and willing to help them, the same is true for my family. As for my professional life, I love my job and find it challenging which in truth is a good thing and as well a negative thing from time to time. After reading Mr. Nouwen’s devotional for today, I felt like I had been given the cliff notes to, “secrets to life & freedom” by Henri J. M. Nouwen!
Lesson 1: Forgive
Lesson 2: Don’t Hold Grudges
Lesson 3: Forgive
Nouwen writes this, “If I could fully accept the truth that I am forgiven and do not have to live in guilt or shame, I would really be free. My freedom would allow me to forgive others seventy times seven. By not forgiving, I chain myself to a desire to get even, thereby losing my freedom. A forgiven person forgives.” *(1)
According to biblegateway.com; the word forgive is referenced 121 times in the Bible. I think that’s a big deal!
If God forgives me, “As the distance of east to west.” (Psalm 103:12). I/we should be willing to do the same. Forgiveness is not like writing a blank check to someone you don’t know, you can forgive and move on with life. No where does it say you must become best friends, hang out together…no that is entirely something else. Forgiveness sets YOU free of the burden of not moving forward and past the obstacle. Nouwen’s message was personal for me, because it is hard to forgive someone who continuously offends us on some level…but, isn’t that what we do to God (?). When we seek God’s forgiveness, it’s in remorse for what we did or didn’t do. God does not keep a count of our offenses, and we should do the same. Only then can we be truly free. The world can be troublesome at times, never ending wars, hatred and visible hostility towards one another for some questionable reasons (my words). I need to be more compassionate, slow to anger and forgive generously. Jesus set a perfect example for loving one another, I can try a little harder. We all could do that.
➡️ When faced with hostility, respond with love.
➡️ When offended, ask yourself “Why am I offended?
➡️ Ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?”
Above all, know that you are LOVED, you were CREATED with a purpose, you MATTER!
Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:
~Finger Prayer Day 9
Use your fingers to guide your prayer:
~ Prayer ~
Bless Yahweh, my soul.
never forget all his acts of kindness.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve,
nor repay us as befits our offenses.
As the height of heaven above earth,
so strong is his faithful love for those who fear him.
As the distance of east from west,
so far from us does he put our faults.
As tenderly as a father treats his children,
as Yahweh treats those who fear him.
—Psalm 103:2, 10-13
~Charlotte, the Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.
Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing
(1) Show Me The Way•Page 37-38
(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation