Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
Well it is the start of our Spring Break and for anyone involved in the Canadian Elementary and Secondary school systems, it is a much anticipated time. Although we no longer have children in the school system, as teachers, my husband and I continue to look forward to March Break with great anticipation.
It is a time of rest, a time to recoup as we anticipate the upcoming spring weather and the long, cold, dark winter coming to an end. Taking time to rest is important. However, God has given us the ultimate rest for our souls, as we walk these earthly days, through the gift of reconciliation; the act of giving and receiving forgiveness. Reconciliation with himself and with one another.
I know this may seem like a big leap but let’s top up our coffees and bear with me as I try to explain my thoughts…
Time To Rest – Reconciliation
This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13
[Jesus said,] “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
When I was a little girl, when the dandelions had turned into big fluff balls, I would pick one of those puff balls, blow over it, and watch the individual sprigs of fluff gently float up and up and up. I loved that little activity with nature. To me it seemed so freeing. The fullness of the fluff, released and carried away.
Receiving forgiveness is the same thing, except that the burden of sin is much heavier than a ball of fluff. In fact, the burden of sin and guilt can be extremely heavy to carry, and with it there is no rest. It can weigh down so many aspects of our life: our mental state, our emotional state, our physical state, and even our spiritual state. Sin can crush us. However, the gift of reconciliation that God has given us can release all that burden and turmoil, and bring true rest to our soul.
God doesn’t take sin lightly. It is because of the seriousness of sin that Christ paid the
price for our sins and reconciled us to God our Father. This reconciliation has reunited us with the Lord of Lords, and healed us, for eternity – though daily repentance and renewal is an ongoing practice this side of heaven.
In the same way, reconciliation between one another is healing and freeing. If we’ve done something against someone, God has shown us the importance of going and asking for forgiveness, and having the other state their forgiveness over us. Receiving the simple act of forgiveness is like God blowing our heavy burden into the wind. The heaviness and weight of that burden of sin is gone instantly. It amazes me how something so heavy and overwhelming can vanish with five little words: “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you”. Yet we find it so very difficult to take that first step: to personally and privately approach the one we’ve offended and to say, “I’m sorry”. How great our pride is, to fear the vulnerability of humbling ourselves. For many, we would rather live under the burden of sin than actually admit we were wrong. This is grievous!
How many days have been wasted living under this dark, overwhelming weight? God desires more for you. God desires you to live in His joy and grace. Do not let sin separate you from God or others and crush you. In fact, Christ took that sin whether yours or the other person’s with Him to the cross. He died for that sin. He knows that sin. He desires you to release that sin to Him and then with the other person. “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
I can bet that not only you are feeling the burden but also that other person is feeling it as well. So give them the opportunity to extend their forgiveness to you. Reconciliation is an act that touches the soul, for all parties, and extends eternal peace and rest. I can’t explain how that happens, but it does.
So, whether you have wronged someone or have been wronged, may I encourage you to seek out reconciliation with that person. Let it go! If it seems too hard of a task, ask God for courage to be able to humble yourself and take that first step. Not only will your relationship with that person be restored, but you will restore your soul and feel as light as air, instantly. Life is too short to be burdened with guilt and sin!
Life is too short to let Satan keep us hostage in our sin and conviction, especially when Christ already paid the price for that sin, and has shown us the way out. Replace your burden with Christ’s freedom for it is light, light as fluff in the wind, and you will find the ultimate rest for your soul.
PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, thank-you so much for the blessed gift of reconciliation. Thank-you that you have reconciled us to yourself through the punishment, death and resurrection of Christ. Without Him we would continue to be separated and estranged from you. But your love is so deep for us that you would have your own Son pay our penalty. In the same way, Lord, when I wrong someone, help me to sacrifice myself; my pride and self-righteousness, to repent and reconcile myself to them, your beloved children. If they don’t know you, may they see the depth of your love for them through this act of reconciliation. In Jesus’ name alone I pray. AMEN!
Reflection: Have you laid your sin before God in repentance, with the knowledge and trust that Christ paid the full penalty that it deserves. Bask in the reality of being reconciled to our gracious God.
Has someone wronged you? Have you wronged someone? Reflect on the circumstance surrounding the occurrence of that sin. Now try and put yourself in the other person’s shoes, understanding where they were/are at. Now give God the situation, the burden, and the resolve. Pray for courage to make it right; to reconcile. Pray that God is stirring the heart of the other person to be desirous of reconciliation. Then pray for the opportunity to meet in private to speak with the other. This may take some time but do not let it go. Also, I do not recommend extending the process electronically. You could do so to make a time to meet, but begin the process in person, or over the phone if need be. There is too much misinterpretation in written communication, and this is too precious to be misinterpreted. Continue praying for guidance.