Those were the words on my mind as I heard him gently whisper “70 times seven”. Not this time, I won’t. Again I hear the Lord repeat, “but I say 70 times 7.” Emotion swept over me as I knew I needed to forgive, again.
Marriage is like that. It is not just a one time decision the day you get married. It continues each day, inviting us to make the decision to choose God’s way or the world’s way.
My Husband and I were working together one morning. Working with sheep I might add. Sheep are not known for their brain capacity and are often goverened by their greedy stomachs. They don’t always want to follow you when a gate to new pastures is wide open. Having had a very stressful week, and a reduced time to finish the morning chores, my husband was not pleased to say the least, by what occurred next.
While I drove in with a load of feed on our little red pickup, he opened the gate. The greed-induced woolly beings chose to explore the new found pasture I was driving out of instead of following the little red pickup like every other day. After a little coercing they decided the corn we were giving them would temporarily satisfy their stomachs and they began following us. Thinking thye were going to behave and stay busy chomping their corn, we left the gate open. As we finished dispensing the corn we realized the sheep were not longer satisfied with this candy-like substance. No, this open gate lured them out to explore and sample what was on the other side. Not good.
When you are in a hurry, and a simple job turns into a larger time commitment then you had planned, it becomes easy to get angry, to blame, to yell. Well, I became an easy target for the anger that my husband was expressing. I, of course took the tone of voice and the words personally and allowed it to escalate inside me until it reached of fit of anger myself, with words and attitutudes I am ashamed to repeat. What came to mind was, “I am not forgiving him this time”. I was so hurt and so angry.
I sat silently staring out the window, not uttering a word to my husband all the way home. I would not allow him to see the tears streaming down my face as I was battling with God with what He was asking me to do. I didn’t want to forgive. I didn’t think he deserved it this time, but how could I argue with the gently whisper in my head? I was reminded at how often the Lord has forgiven me, time and time again. I didn’t deserve it. He was asking me to do the same. It took time.
But I did.
Not at the lunch table where I silently served him his food and began to apologize. God was still working on my hard heart. But, eventually, my heart softened and I was able to forgive.
Forgivness is a gift from the Lord. He has forgiven us and gives us not only the desire but the power to forgive others through the Holy Spirit.
Thank you Lord, for your kind gently whisper that leads us and guides us. Even when we don’t want to follow you and want to seek fulfilment in the pastures of self-pity, despair, anger or resentment. You don’t give up on us, you are our Good Shepherd. Thank you Lord!
“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3