I attended a session at conference that affected me profoundly, and I would like to share the story in case it helps anyone. The title was Taking off Our Masks in Marriage.
The speaker – her name was Laura – was talking about forgiveness. She told us how her first husband had an affair and left her. Afterward, God spoke to her and told her to forgive him. She knew He was right but she did not want to. She resisted. So, God showed her an image in her mind of her ex-husband on his knees at the foot of the cross. He was weak and vulnerable. God said to her, “Forgive him, he knows not what he does. He has been deceived by lies. He does not know me.”
As you know, the words Jesus spoke before he died on the cross were, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." He was asking God to forgive the people who crucified him – an amazing act of grace. Laura knew she needed to forgive her ex, and now she was convicted. The image helped her to do that. Then her healing could begin.
What she wasn’t prepared for was when God told her she needed to forgive the other woman. She said she didn’t see that one coming. She thought it was enough to forgive her ex-husband. She refused. She was angry. She said, “This was not part of the deal, God.” Then God showed her a picture of the other woman as a child at the foot of the cross. He said emphatically, “Forgive her, she knows not what she does. She doesn’t feel valuable or worthy herself, so she seeks it out in men. She has been deceived by lies. She does not know me. She does not know what she is doing. Forgive her.”
Wow. Powerful. I don’t know what you might be going through in your life. Who you might need to forgive for what, but perhaps you can take this story to heart and start to work on it.
If you are having trouble forgiving or don’t feel like you want to, ask God for help and let the healing begin.