So why is this such a battle for me? Why can't I just let things go? I'm realizing the heaviness of my life--this "I'm so consumed with everything on my plate, and in my heart" feeling--is because of all these people I'm continually dragging around behind me. A little like Pilgrim's huge burden in Pilgrim's Progress. Or maybe a LOT like it.
If an offender doesn't say they're sorry, then it's apparent they don't think they did anything wrong, right? If they don't think it was wrong, then they will just as likely do it again, right? How can I ever feel 'safe' without their acknowledgment, and their assurance that they intend that it not happen again? I can well understand why the Lord instructed us in Matthew 5 and 18, to go to those with whom we have offenses (whether they or we are the offenders). It's unbearable to live in this tormenting fear!
But there has to be an alternative, because sometimes the 'going to them' doesn't produce the desired results. (One of my culprits looked me straight in the face, understood my pain, and within a couple weeks--with spoken purpose--did it again! ) God didn't create robots. Our free will allows us to choose our ways, and too often, those ways cause pain in the lives of others.
Sometimes God shields us, sometimes the blast hits us full force.
Sometimes we get to see His working, sometimes we don't.
Sometimes we're exonerated, sometimes we just have to live it out.
II Corinthians 12:9-10 - When the Apostle Paul cried out to the Lord for the removal of a torment in his life, the Lord replied:
"...My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect (complete) in weakness. [Paul's response] Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me... for when I am weak, then am I strong."
Pretty counter-intuitive. But the idea here is that I determine to access the grace Christ offers [the strength and desire to do His will]. By focusing on His grace, I demonstrate that I am willing to trust His justice and judgment in the bumps and bruises of everyday life. Even when those wounds come from those closest to me.
Lord, I've been in Your courtroom every day for the last eight days, saying that I "will" to forgive these, my offenders. Trouble is, I keep walking out with their dockets still in my hands. Let me trust You enough to leave those charges on Your sacred Bench, and walk away in Your grace and freedom.