The wounded, forgiving heart

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Matt.18:21-22   Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Forgiveness heals.

I was reminded of that fact when I read this post. And I was also reminded of that this past weekend during an equipping session for prayer ministers and others who work or volunteer with children. At a certain point in the session, someone was talking about ‘rejection’ and all of a sudden, I had a flashback to a situation that occurred during a school trip in grade 8. It was a situation that caused a fair bit of pain at the time – both physical (a slap in the face) and emotional. I decided that God must have brought that up for a reason and I spent some time in prayer with a friend in order to forgive someone who had hurt me, and clear away any feelings of rejection that I might have carried because of this traumatic experience when I was 13.

I have done quite a bit of work in previous healing prayer sessions,  going through an inventory of past experiences in order to forgive those who have “trespassed” on my heart.

{Trespassed.  Assaulted. Trampled upon. Crushed. Bruised. Pounded. Squashed. Stamped. Tromped. Violated. Broken.}

Ouch.

Perhaps you can relate? {wan smile… of course you can!}

A hurt is a hurt. It’s real. It smarts. Sometimes really badly, in that almost-physical-pain-kinda-way, even though it is an emotional hurt. And if you continue to carry that hurt, through unforgiveness, the only person you are hurting is yourself.

Phew… I know that is tough for some of you to hear.  I know that some of you have experienced pain at the hands of others that seems impossible to forgive.

Forgiveness = release. It may not mean an immediate release from the pain, but it frees you from the bitterness that can enslave. When you can let go of the bitterness, Jesus can then fill that space with His love and healing. When we have unhealed hurts in our heart, we can tend to act out of those places of brokenness. Sometimes we cannot explain why we explode in anger, why we cannot overcome fears, why we can’t quit habits, even those that harm us.

 But you know what? Jesus is right there, in the hurt. Jesus was there when the arrow was launched;  He was present when the spiny, thorny words lodged right down deep in your heart. Your beautiful heart… the one that He created. The one that He danced over, and loved on, even before you were born. And at that moment, He likely wept. 

Sometimes our heart has been trounced, bounced, flounced and trodden upon too many times and we find that we have walls, BIG WALLS, in order to protect our hearts from any more hurt. It’s too much, right? You can’t take any more? Maybe your heart feels hardened?

Jesus understands. He gets this. He really, really does. And He longs to help you with your broken heart. Maybe you want to forgive, but the hurt seems too big. Tell Him. Ask Him to help you forgive. And then ask Him to show you how to let it go.

Corrie ten Boom said, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”

Paul, in Colossians 3:13 writes: Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Leanne Payne in The Healing Presence says, “We simply invoke His Presence, then invite Him into our hearts. He shows us our hearts. In prayer for healing of memories, we simply ask our Lord to come present to that place where we were so wounded (or perhaps wounded another). Forgiving others, and receiving forgiveness, occurs. In prayer for the healing of the heart from fears, from bitterness, etc., we see primal fears as well as lesser ones dealt with immediately; those fears that the sufferer often has not been aware of, never been able to name – they only know that their lives have been seriously restricted and shaped because of them.”

So ask Jesus to come, invite Him into your heart…. and I so love how she put this: He shows us our hearts.

Related posts:

Journeys-of-healing/ 

Peeling back the Layers

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2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Overcoming Past Hurts | Shiloh Temple COGIC

  2. Pingback: Broken shackles | Heart Murmurs

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