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Friday, October 10 2014

Dear Friends:

I wrote last week about our upcoming Anniversary! It is a miracle that we have made it to this milestone. I referenced God’s healing, so today I want to talk about a specific part of the healing….forgiveness.

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” Matthew 5:23-24

But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:15

I thought I was really good at forgiveness in my marriage until God started leading me and showing me I was not. I felt justified in keeping the grudges and the list of wrong doings related to my husband. When the Lord started convicting me of my part, my sin, what I needed to let go of…I was resistant. Remember “I” was not the problem.

It would go something like this…

I would get hurt by something my husband had said or did, or even better yet didn’t say or do. I would then try to address “the issue” with him, and that would usually turn into a fight or a misunderstanding that would hurt me even more! (where is the Hallelujah chorus saying “I know what you mean Sister!”) Afterwards, I would make a list in my head about the wrongs my husband had done and rehearse how I could get him to see the ‘truth’. It was a viscious cycle and I was miserable! I was stuck in MY truth.

So God started showing me the way out: “I want you to apologize to your husband for yelling at him.” WHAT? “Wait a minute God, didn’t you see what he said to me first?” “Angel, I want you to apologize to your husband for yelling at him.” Are you kidding me? “Why do I always have to be the one to apologize?” “Angel, this is between you and Me, and about you obeying me. “ Oh… Busted. 

So I would drop my pride, reluctantly, and obey my Perfect husband. Sometimes we just have to offer grace to our earthly partner because God says to, not because we want to! Sometimes our expectations and reactions are way out of line to what our spouse can give or do for us. We are expecting them to give what only God can give. And often pride is right there trying to rule the moment. That never works.

As a result of my change, my imperfect human husband started responding to me in a positive way due to my obedience to my heavenly husband. My change evoked some changes in him. This lead to less conflicts, more compassion, and affection for each other. Isn’t that what we all want in our relationships?

God is serious about forgiveness because it sets us free. It got me out of the bondage of blame and shame. Following His path of forgiveness freed me from seeing limited possibilities with little hope at the end, into His spacious places that I never knew were possible. 

He is serious about forgiveness. He paid a HUGE price to cover ALL sin; which includes the sins of your spouse. He asks us to give to others what He’s already given to us. This is not up for debate.

We have a choice to either forgive or not to forgive. God will love us either way, but unforgiveness brings consequences and leaves us very limited. It leaves very little hope in our relationships. Remember to forgive does not mean the hurt didn’t matter. It just means there is another way to heal that hurt. Trust God. And see what He can do with your obedient steps. 

Try swallowing your pride, leaning heavily on the Holy Spirit, and say those words “I forgive you, because Jesus has forgiven me.” It will set you free!

I pray we can all live in the truths of James 1:19 “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

Let me know how it goes……… Blessings and Love, Angel

Posted by: Angel H Davis AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

Benefits of Weariness

 

WOW! How weary I am. And so are many of you. I know because I hear your cries: in my office, on the phone, online, in church, at the grocery store, you name it! So much of what I hear from people today is about how tired, weary, and worn-out they feel.

Then again, you may not feel weary;  instead you may feel anxious, depressed, scared, lonely, angry, or any mixture of these emotions. Perhaps these are more your prominent feelings.

 

However you may feel, it’s too easy to look for the source or to find blame: social media; busy schedules; technology; work/family demands; the causes are endless. Of course, these have validity, and we can certainly manage them in more appropriate and successful ways.

 

Yet, as I sit with God today, in my quiet time, and look over my journals, what I see is the benefit of weariness—the benefit of our broken feelings and situations.

 I see, time and time again, over the years (yes, I am rebellious and slow-learning, and God is very, very patient), God working in me and through me, enabling me to receive His antidote to this tough life and all of its problems. 

 

It is so simple; and yet it is so hard.

 

It is HIM: Jesus; always more of Him.

 

“But,” you say, “Angel, I have to know what to do with my children,” or, “Angel, these bills are piling up,” or, “Angel, you don’t have a CLUE of how bad it really is.”

 

And I will say, “You are right, I don’t. And you are correct, these things need to be taken care of.” 

 

BUT FIRST, we have a larger need. Oh, the catch is it doesn’t appear like the larger need. Our core need, before bills, children, purpose in life, change in our feelings, is to be convinced, truly convinced and accepting of God’s love for us and our identity as His children.

 

And your heart and head may rebel like mine did.

 

“BUT, I need to know the answer to my problem.” 

And Jesus says:

“I am the answer.”

“I am so tired.”

And Jesus says:

“I know. Let me restore you.”

“I am afraid.”

And Jesus says:

“I know, and my love will take care of that.”

 

That just doesn’t seem like much; doesn’t seem like enough, when we are about to be evicted or our kids are in harm’s way. That support just doesn’t seem practical enough for our human brains to rest on.

 

Perhaps then we’ve hit on the real source or problem of our weariness: ourselves. You and me believing that if we work hard enough, try enough, worry enough, take enough time to figure it out, talk enough to that person, ignore it long enough—whatever your “enough” is—WE can fix it. The true problem is that it’s all about US!

 

We want to stay in the driver’s seat and be our own savior. Or we look to other humans to be that for us. If we believe our answer lies in us or other humans, we are likely to stay in that “out of control” anxious space, and the weariness or depression or addictions are bound to take over. There can only be one driver in our car of life.

 

The benefit of our struggle is to be wooed into the true solution. Life’s struggles are an invitation to know God more intimately. As we allow Jesus, who is ALIVE, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to become more real for us, more tangible, as we take Him at His word (Hebrews 13:5), as we choose to focus on Him and His promises, instead of the problems or feelings we are having, then we start to experience the reality of His presence with us.  With this, we begin to experience the peace He promises.


Why? Because our problems have been solved? The bills have all been paid? The feelings change?


NO…  peace comes from HIS presence. And in that place of peace we can see clearer, hear more accurately, and receive wisdom and direction.

 

As we “bend our knee” to Jesus’ love, dare to take Him at His word (John 3:16), choose to look to Him and depend on Him, and keep (John 17) depending on Him, then His life-blood starts to flow through us. It revives us, directs us, and transforms our thinking and feelings. Then life and all of its troubles, which are many (John 16:33), become manageable, doable.

 

Breath comes; rest comes; peace comes.

 

In this place new life springs forth. New ideas emerge and joy is eventually restored.

 

Struggling today? Rejoice in it, because it is calling you back home. Home to His heart of love (Romans 8:38-39), the place of true peace and rest. 

1020 Barber Creek Drive, Suite 203, Watkinsville, GA 30677  ///  706.543.7012  ///  info@angelhdavis.com

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