FORGIVE HIMBy Frances M. McCrory-Meservy March 1978
Immediately after Al became a Christian, a new problem arose: The man I married was dead and a stranger lived in his body. I tried to get to know the new man.
Al was now joyful, happy and reading his Bible constantly. He was in great shape: I was a wreck. All the pain from the past thirteen years welled up in me. I hurt and became very angry. "How dare he be happy when he had caused so much pain in my life! Why was he so hardheaded and why did he wait so long to accept Jesus? We could have avoided thirteen years of pain if he weren't so hard-headed!"
I ranted and raved and everyone stayed out of my way
Jesus said in a firm compassionate voice,"Forgive him." My response was, "NO! He hurt me and I can't forgive him."
Again, Jesus said,"Forgive him." "No," I responded, "I have every reason to be angry." "Forgive him," Jesus said for the third time. "No." I reasoned. "I have a right to be angry and I want to be angry."
Jesus declared,"This is what it feels like to be unforgiven."
Suddenly, it felt as though I had fallen into a dark pit of loneliness, surrounded by fear, hate and anger: the pain was excruciating. I cried, screamed and yelled for three days. I could not eat, sleep or drink.
On the third day, I fell to my knees beside our bed in tears and begged God to forgive me. I asked him to love and forgive Al through me because the pain is too great to do it on my own.
In an instant all the pain left me and I felt loved. I felt love and forgiveness flow through me. I, now, loved my husband more than I thought was possible.
I had accepted Jesus when I was 3 years old. I couldn't remember feeling unforgiven. Now that I know what it feels like, I have more compassion for people who do not know Jesus. Loneliness, fear, hate and anger has to be the greatest pain there is.
God had not taken His forgiveness from me. He did show me what it felt like to be unforgiven. Also, I had grieved His Holy Spirit by retaining my anger. I honestly thought I had forgiven Al. Sometimes we fool ourselves with what we know we should do. Now I know if I can talk about anything in my past and not get angry, I have truly forgiven. If I feel anger while remembering an incident, I know I have not forgiven and ask God to do it through me.
I thought I was depression free; but, when I forgave Al, I found a sadness that had been with me a long time lifted. Evidently I had such deep-rooted anger at Al that it was keeping me depressed. I didn't know anger could cause depression!
God had filled Al's Love hole and he no longer needed me to prove I loved him. In fact, he didn't seem to need me at all. To combat the feeling of neglect, I joined him in extensive Bible study.
We started to grow together in the Lord instead of separately. God blessed us with a deeper love than we thought possible.
Eph 4:30-32 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
Mat 18:21 Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Mat 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
Background picture of Al & Fran Meservy at Sweetheart Banquet at Fellowship Baptist Church Nederland Texas Feb 1979
Music: "Where No One Stands Alone" by Merle Haggard CD "The Best of Gospel"
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