This past summer, I learned an interesting tidbit of American history this about dams. Now, dams themselves have been around for as long civilization. Dams are structures that help control the flow of water for irrigation, prevent flooding, create reservoirs for times of drought, etc. But it has only been really within the last century or so that technology and structural engineering techniques have made it possible to create dams powerful enough to generate massive amounts of electricity . But in order to do so, they change the landscape of the land surrounding them by actually flooding over entire valleys and the towns in them. The result? Hundreds of towns across the country have been strategically and intentionally flooded and are underwater.
So there are actual man-made lakes around the world that look beautiful and tranquil on the surface, yet lurking just below the surface (in some cases as little a 5-10 feet below the surface). Lovely to look at, but a little suspect for swimming!
One of the things we know is important to Jesus is that we are women of integrity. Believers whose outside appearance authentically represent the state of our insides.
How do I know? Well, many of you will recall this verse from our study of the Beatitudes:
You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. Matthew 5:8, MSG
When we, as believers in Christ, refuse to forgive someone, we become like those flooded lakes. We may look good on the surface, but anyone digging any deeper into our spirits better watch out for some jagged wreckage in there.
We block God’s mercy – we dam up grace – when we refuse to forgive. We gotta learn to let that forgiveness FLOW.
But how? Especially when the issue seems so unforgiveable to us. But this is where the supernatural power of true reconciliation, when we actually take our unforgiving hearts to God, gets going. Because for the big stuff, we cannot do it by ourselves.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Mathew 19:26, NLT
When Jesus says everything is possible, he means everything. So how do we do it? Girls, this has been a bit life altering for me and I’m just getting used to it, but listen to this for a sec:
1 Peter 5:5-7New English Translation (NET Bible)
5 …all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 6 And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand 7 by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you.
CAST. YOUR .CARES.
That’s where we begin.
Cast your cares, cast your cares, cast your cares! Your cares include issues surrounding forgiveness, girls. So, in all humility, on your face, cast your cares. You say to him, “Lord, this issue with forgiveness about __________ is about to crush my spirit. This is beyond painful and it is splitting me in two. This is compromising my soul integrity. I cannot do this alone and I need you. So I’m giving it to you because only YOU can do something positive with it.”
And so the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit within us begins. And then we change our mindset. We move our minds up and out of the mucky mire of unforgiveness with purpose and intent, because we KNOW we have a faithful God and we let Him know we fully expect Him to work this out.
Of course, all of that along with the humility of saying we know He will work it out in His time and within His will for it. We know He wants us to live with forgiving, merciful, grace-filled hearts. That’s how we know we can expect a victory here.
I get it. I’ve lived with stuff that I find it almost impossible to think God could forgive someone for so how in the world am I supposed to do that? Nowhere is it written that it’s going to be easy. But because scripture says ALL things are possible with God, I’m going to try. Regardless of/with whom it is I need to reconcile and regardless the issue – myself, someone else, or even God. I’m going to try.
Following along with our series, Wonder-FULL?! This is our LAST week of wonders! Finish up reading the main book, Wonderstuck, and complete week 6 in your participant guide! Meet us back here next week for a wrap up of the series and a special announcement of what we’re up to in 2017!
Peace, love, and WONDER!!!