We had been invited to a home for dinner after over a year of attending a new church. A miracle in two ways as first a family our size rarely gets invited over to someone’s house and two because our church in Texas was a small country church – the kind where visitors took a long time to welcome.
Our son was quickly drawn to a big rocking chair in the living room. He must have been 4 or 5, and he started rocking it into a bit of a frenzy. Before I could get to him to settle down, he had rocked back hard and tipped over the large floor lamp behind the chair. The stucco lamp broke in big pieces across the living room. Those of you with small children may be able to fill in the blanks of what came next…..”I am soooo sorry, can I please replace the lamp or go purchase a new one…….” you know what I am saying. That overflow of words you come to when you are in an awkward situation. The new friends assured us it was ok. They graciously picked up the lamp pieces and told us it was just some old lamp and “don’t worry about it.”
And this story is the one God drew me to the other day to meditate on when considering His forgiveness. You see after that day things never seemed the same with that family. Despite several attempts to again see if I could purchase a replacement, the residue of discomfort characterized our interaction. It seems as that incident quickly moved us back into the unchosen friend pile at our church with this couple and their friends. You see they said we were “forgiven,” they said our “debt was erased,” but it never felt erased. And admittedly sometimes we struggle to really forgive others this side of heaven in a way that doesn’t include some residue, some hesitation.
But then there’s God’s forgiveness. The kind that is complete and whole. The kind that erases the debt big or small in a way that no eraser dust lingers on the page of our hearts. The kind that doesn’t put an unspoken film between us but draws us closer into intimacy and fellowship with Him. The kind that is remembered no more! This forgiveness makes my heart leap. Makes my countenance bright. Makes my feet dance. This forgiveness ushers me into His presence where I can find peace and rest, joy and strength.
So don’t be deceived. Don’t let the enemy’s replayed tape trick you into believing that sin you have put under the blood of Christ remains. Meditate on His word. Celebrate His love. And enjoy the freedom of a clean heart and let Him renew a right spirit within You!