I’m not sure what God is doing with me lately but I do know that He is bringing things to my memory that I had almost forgotten. Things I’m really not that anxious to remember, things I don’t want to really recall.
There are things I am remembering that I did and said before I became a Christian and also things that I said and did after I became a Christian. The one’s that really bother me are things that I have said and done after I became a Christian. I was young in the faith, foolish, spoke before thinking and did things that I definitely shouldn’t have done. Self crept back in, I didn’t more forward, I moved back. For far too long my Christian walk was more like a roller coaster and I so regret the mistakes that I made.
I can’t understand how He has never given up on me, I can’t comprehend how He has brought me to where I am now. I love Him. I have nothing to boast of. He has shown me the power of His Holy Spirit, demonstrated to me time and time again how He loves me, has met so many of my cries out to Him and forgiven me so many times. A couple of days ago He reminded me of how quickly I can revert back to what I was.
I was in a small grocery store and a woman was blocking the isle. I waited for her to more her cart but she didn’t so I moved it for her so that I could get by. She saw me move her cart and told me not to touch it. My mouth started to open but I caught myself and no words came out. Later on I was coming back down the same isle, the isle she was on, she saw me and she moved her cart to block my passage. Again I waited and then I moved her cart again. I know, not a good idea but I did it anyway. She then used some pretty colourful language letting me know what she thought of me. I did not resort to using any colourful language but I did mention to her that she might want to consider others as we passed one another. I could have turned around and walked around this isle to get to where I wanted to go, but I didn’t. I should have, my wife told me so, and she was right. I have a strong dislike for people who are deliberately rude. Unfortunately it doesn’t fit well with being a Christian witness. And there are other shortfalls which probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. My heart still needs a significant amount of work to be done on it yet.
I do honestly try to put the other person first, over myself and quite frequently I am successful but not always. I think of other Christians who are in prisons, who are living in real hardship, who suffer because of a disease, who have given up so much more than me to witness of our Lord’s love and I am ashamed. My hardship is nothing compared to their’s.
The other day one of the men that I work with had a very swollen ankle due to an injury he sustained years ago. He swears a lot and specifically by using the Lord’s name in vain and normally I can handle it but this one day I just had to say something and I did. I did say it nicely and He apologized and we still get alone fine and he has cut the swearing down significantly. I thought about my witness to him, especially with regard to praying for his healing for that ankle. I can’t believe all the excuses that I came up with. I had to actually promise God that I would do it before I spoke to my friend. I kept it simple and after asking I knelt down and held his ankle with both hands and said a short prayer asking for my friends ankle to be healed in the name of Jesus. Nothing happened. I have seen Jesus heal before, my wife’s arm was covered in hot oil years ago and when I prayed, the pain disappeared and there was no scar. When our twins were born we received another miracle in answer to prayer. So I kind of expected to see my friends ankle healed. I took God at His word. Evidently I still have more to learn, I honestly don’t understand why sometimes a healing happens and other times it does not. But, at least, I did step out in faith. I even apologized to God in case I had messed it up.
I find that my eyes tear up very often now when I am saying my prayers. I am thinking that is a good thing. That means He is working on me and I need that. I wish I had learned some of the lessons I have learned a lot sooner that I have, just think of how much further along I would be.
What a loving and merciful God we serve!
Here are four Bible verses that focus on God’s mercy and forgiveness:
Eph 4:31-32 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.“
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.”