“Forget about what’s happened;
Don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
Rivers in the badlands.
Isaiah 43:19 MSG
To spring forward, we must let go of the things which have held our hearts captive. Things from older seasons which have attached themselves to our future. Have you released your dry seasons, the seasons of despair, and seasons of grief to the Lord? Have you taken the time necessary to grieve over past loss and hurts, and dealt with the things haunting your thoughts?
Forgiving others is challenging. Those be kind signs in people’s yards are there for a reason. There’s a shortage of many things in America including kindness and forgiveness. But sometimes we don’t want to forgive because the hurt is felt in the depths of our soul, stitched into the seams of our heart.
Unforgiveness may have moved in years ago during a season of suffering and pain, and now it is like a calloused wort rubbing against your soul. The pain could stem from something that was horrible and tragic in your childhood, buried deep in your heart. We cordon off areas in our mind only to see emotional eruptions when triggered by memories. But life is chaotic, and forgiveness requires lots of energy, so we choose to continue in a state of spiritual inertia rather than make a road through the desert.
Instead of turning our face towards God, allowing Him to heal, we wear a mask and hide the hurt. We all think we are Emmy Award winning actors, but the only person we fool is ourselves. We carry that anger, hurt and frustration everywhere we go, and people see it. I believe the badlands in the scripture is a place we go to hide. I know from my husband’s westerns that the badlands are places of desolation, terrible terrain, and desperation. Yet, off we go, carrying our bitterness into a box canyon. “Partner, that load can get mighty heavy.”
What does God say about forgiving others?
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 NLT
God is offering you a pardon, freedom from your own unforgiveness. And what do you get? You are set free, no longer held hostage by the other person. Think about it, the person no longer haunts your thoughts or dictates your mood. You are no longer a ticking time bomb, ready to explode on people you love. No longer afraid of the next time you will run into that person. The person has been evicted from your mind and heart. You are free to spring forward and welcome the new season God has waiting for you!
“Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” Hebrews 12:14-15
“Wait a minute, I am supposed to let them off the hook, after all they have done!?” Jesus addresses forgiveness many times in the Bible. While he hung on the cross dying for you and your tormentor, so both could receive forgiveness, Jesus said, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 NLT
The Word of the Lord says, “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12 NLT.
Even a little bit of bitterness can poison the way we see the world. Consider a cataract on the lens of the eye. You may not even know it is there. But once it is removed, colors are vivid and enhanced, like seeing the world for the first time.
When God forgives us, it is finished! No more rereading your history, you are following your Father on a new road through the desert. He is making rivers flow through the badlands. Divine forgiveness is complete forgiveness.
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5 NLT