(Part two of the two-part series; I Had No Idea- click here for part one!)
I know the love of an aunt is not at all comparable with the love of a parent . But I know the love I have for my brother and sister in laws kiddos is far more than I even imagined to have for anyone (I had no idea, remember?). Thus the connection has left me with many life changing lessons. One that I have had the chance to ponder recently and has shed a new angle of light on this word forgiveness we speak so much of.
We all have to learn how to forgive right? Of course! Unless we see bitterness and anger as beneficial homes to take up residence in we probably have exercised our ability to forgive. Not always fun. Not always easy. Not always leaving our grips willingly. When someone has offended us we eventually forgive. Or we try.
We-the babies and I-have done a lot of “I forgive you’s.” Toes are stepped on, toys are stolen, tantrums are thrown, tattles are told on, and Aunt Rachel says, “What words do we say?” There is always an I’m sorry followed my the loving nudge to respond with forgiveness. This small detour is taken many times in a day, and I am along for the ride as both the offended and sometimes (gasp) the offender (when I make a mistake I have no problem apologizing… how else will they learn??)
So what have I learned from this? Not just how to swallow my pride and apologize to a 3 year old. I feel like the Lord has allowed me to understand (however slight from the grand reality this may be) just how he is able to forgive us so lovingly. I hadn’t really thought about it until recently but I approach forgiveness in a much more merciful way than most others I find myself in need of forgiving.
Now their offenses are not anything too large (none of them have tried to kill me or what have you.. that I know of anyway). But I have realized my heart is eager to forgive their little offenses; when they tell a lie, or have a sore attitude, when they steal a beloved toy from their sibling, or say unkind words, even when they come up with something I never in a million years thought I would have to deal with (these kids… there is always something new!)
There are times when the course is very short, they know they’ve done wrong and are quick to apologize. Other times it’s a knock down drag out pull to the finish. Many a night have been spent in time outs. Many a conversation have been had regarding any particular issue. For example: bathroom etiquette, the general respect of another’s space, or a reviewing of the fundamentals of sharing. Not always are these corrections well- received. Mostly what I think of in those moments that the kiddos are so upset is “please, hurry up and stop being mad. You can say you’re sorry and we can all be happy again!” There are times it takes a bit longer than others, and I wonder if they will ever give in. I live for the moments when they let me wipe away their tears, or they come running into my arms and say I am sorry.
And I get to say, “I forgive you.”
It blows me away that this is how out heavenly Father forgives us too. He loves us this much? How did I not see this before, how did I not grasp it?? How sweet a picture it is to think about him waiting for us to run into his arms. How precious we are to Him. And my offenses against him are far worse than stealing a toy… yet he still desires for me to run into his arms and say I am sorry…
…and He gets to say I forgave you, and I love you.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight. -Ephesians 1: 7-8
May you walk in a greater and deeper understanding of the forgiveness so freely an willingly lavished upon you. And may you be encouraged by the great love He has for you in His forgiveness. He’s not mad… He is happy you are running towards Him and not away.
See you Thursday,