Occasionally, my visits to my memories turn negative.
Rather than seeing the many, many good things I've experienced, trivial hurts from my childhood and teen years swell in importance. Why did that happen, anyway? Why did I say that? Why did they?
The other day I was in one of those particular moods, frustrated with my life and feeling a little lost.
I was stopped in my tracks by a reminder to look at the good things in life. I began to wonder what my life would look like if I truly did that, and I came face-to-face with the grace of God afresh.
I know from the Bible that I'm supposed to forgive and not keep dwelling on past wrongs, but it was too easy to see that as a blessing for the one who wronged me, and not for me. Sure, it's great for them if I don't hold things against them.
But no. It's good for me, too! As a human, I can't force myself to completely forget whatever little wrongs others have done me. But I can choose to not dwell on them! It's like picking up the tapestry of my life and shaking off little pieces of extra fabric clinging on, covering the pattern.Yes, God used even pain and frustration to build me into who I am. Yet I don't have to dwell on the hurts--I can let them go and heal.
The thoughts of God are truly beyond anything we understand (Isaiah 55:9). They're so much better.
Through commanding us to forgive, He is showing grace to the one who hurt...
...and the one who is hurting.