He who cannot forgive others destroys the bridge over which he himself must pass
. – George Herbert
He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power of love. -Martin Luther King Jr.
Today, we are reviewing OML Day 10: Ocean – Exploring the Depths of Forgiveness.
When you go to the beach, do you notice many stay on the shore, lying on their blankets, baking in the sun, while others splash around, maybe getting in as deep as their waists? Some may venture a little farther with their masks and snorkels, but basically, they are still just on the surface.
Scuba divers can safely go as deep as 130 feet. Not very deep when you consider the deepest part of the ocean is more than 36,000 feet – nearly 7 miles deep! Even with submersibles, the majority of the ocean is too deep and vast to be explored.
God’s love is like that. Many of us find it easier to splash around on the surface of his love, rather than explore the depths of his love, forgiveness and the fullness of life he offers.
A deep-sea diver, wearing a compression suit, can go as deep as 1,000 feet, or thereabout. We each can go deeper than that into where forgiveness lives – true forgiveness. It’s deeper than any of us can even imagine. It takes on new form within our soul, once we’ve actually forgiven someone. I can speak from my own truth. For me, I was terribly wronged years ago by someone. I swore if I ran into (we’ll call him Jesse) Jesse again, I’d pound him into the pavement and I wouldn’t stop beating him until he was squished. 😉 (I wouldn’t have, but it was a nice thought at the time.)
Years passed. I served six years in the armed forces, honorably discharged, got married, had the biggest blessing of my life – my daughter, and time went on.
One day, I came face-to-face with him. He just stood there with a reluctant, fearful expression, not knowing if he should approach. I got out of my car and we talked for a while. Starting off as a nervous wreck, I eventually felt calmness and all of a sudden realized that in the midst of our conversation, I had forgiven him.
Did I want to exchange numbers? Maybe talk later? Get together for a drink or dinner? Heck no! I didn’t want to be pals with him, but I no longer hated him, and I forgave him. I felt almost weightless! Joy filled more than just my heart and soul, but every cell! It was a milestone for me. I learned how to forgive.
I’m a tough case, and if I can do it, you can do it. Trust me. In the beginning, it seems impossible, but when you face it and do it, you will experience a whole other, deeper level of living. I want you to experience this kind of living. You don’t have to be that person’s friend and spend more time with them. I don’t recommend adding them as a Facebook friend. If it’s a family member, you don’t have to be close with that person and you can protect your children from potentially harmful, untrustworthy people, but you can forgive them and learn how to coexist at family functions, carry on a conversation with them, even laugh.
This may sound crazy to you, but I’m actually thankful events transpired the way they did. Think about it. I joined the Air Force and lived in Montana, which I loved. I have Hallie as a result of my life moving on. Everything happens for a reason. I eventually learned how to forgive and what a joyful experience it is! I’m happier than a clam. I love and laugh.
If you want God’s forgiveness, you have to forgive others. Let go of the anger. Anger grows into bitterness and it’s not a healthy way to live. Been there, done that. You can experience more – a better way to live. Never go to bed angry. You may not wake up the next morning or the person on the other side of that anger may not wake up. Then what? Too late.
Don’t know how to forgive? Express your feelings to God. Pray to him, saying, “God, you know how angry I am. Please forgive me, and help me to heal. Help me to forgive __________.” Only then can the healing process begin.
Today, I challenge you to stop dragging that heavy, burdensome anchor of guilt and anger behind you. The longer you pull it, it only grows larger, picking up anxiety, depression, insomnia, hypertension and ulcers. Let it go. Take it to God and allow him to toss it into the deepest part of the ocean of his forgiveness. Let me know if you tackled the Make it Last for Life lessons on page 79. You can do this. I’m going to work on my forgiveness letter to person number 1 of 3. I’ll keep you posted. MAKE it a wonderful, inspired, joy-filled Saturday. Who will you forgive? How many do you have to forgive? Let me know how it goes. Love ya! *hug*