Updated: Aug 9, 2020
I went to the Nassau, Bahamas (and NYC) this past week for my first vacation of residency. Woot woot! It was such a nice time of relaxation, basking in the sun, meeting new people, fun games, and amazing karaoke and comedy nights. Asides from karaoke which was so so fun (plus I got to sing Alicia Keys, "If I Ain't Got You," AND I Mrs. Keys very proud. :]). I do digress. Ok, so asides from karaoke, the best part of my trip was being out in the middle of the ocean and staring out into the beautiful deep.
I remember I finished sun bathing and reading a book by Pastor Vicki Holland (my pastor in Indianapolis at The Father's House). And after finishing reading this book, I was about to walk back to my cabin, when the beauty of the ocean just captured me. It was breathtaking, to be honest. Such a regal, deep blue--so calm, and peaceful, but at the same time powerful and potentially lethal. Splotches of color would brighten the majestic blue as the sunlight danced across the ocean surface. The waves moved in parallel like synchronized swimmers. And a few feet away would be another set of synchronized waves doing their own methodical, graceful dance. The sets of waves would meet and collide, causing a surge of white foam to appear, so well contrasted from the deep blue water. I just kept gazing out at how gorgeous that sight was. And to think that this ocean is tens of thousands of feet deep. A whole world unknown to me occurring underneath the surface of the dancing waves...
...And as I gazed out at the seemingly never ending ocean and all its glory this came to mind
...You will cast our sins into a sea of forgetfulness
I just started to smile and tear up. How awesome to actually witness the beautiful analogy God uses to describe His promises to us. This endless, magnificent, organized yet chaotic ocean, seen with the eye but still full of mystery and ambiguity, this body of water and its great depth, width and height housed my sins... and then it all gets lost in its enormity. I imagine a small chemistry pipette that's used to dispense small drops of liquid.
The liquid in the pipette is all the hurtful things I have done to myself, others, and ultimately to my God. I envision this pipette dispensing the sins I've committed into the vast blue majestic. Let's even make it a little more extreme; let's say the liquid in the pipette is a hot, highlighter yellow dye, like that obnoxiously bright yellow highlighter yellow. Well that yucky bright yellow dye is drippity dropped amongst the dancing waves. What happens next? Well, the powerful ocean swallows my mess and hurts all the way up, and it is no longer found! Wow! How encouraging. Praise God that He remembers our mistakes no more.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us
Whatever it is you have done, whoever you have hurt, whatever "unforgivable" mistake you made, know that YOU ARE FORGIVEN. The Almighty, omniscient (all knowing) God is telling you He is forgetting it, intentionally forgetting it, like on purpose forgetting it! So long as we go to the Father with a heart of repentance, we can be made new and whole again.
If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought and action].
- 1 John 1:9
I have battled with guilt, shame, and regret (all stemming from self-directed unforgiveness), but I am here to tell you (and myself, lol) God is true to His word. You are forgiven. I am forgiven. We are forgiven! Hallelujah! Jesus did not come all the way from perfect Heaven to this dusty earth, die a horrible death on a cross, and go to the pits of fiery hell for nothing, homie. He did it so we can be FREE from guilt, shame, and regret!! Just get down on your knees or whatever your prayer posture may be and ask to be set free and it will be granted to you (James: 4:2). Sometimes the hardest thing to do is not to forgive others, but yourself. But God commands us to forgive others AND ourselves (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13) and it's for our own good. Unforgiveness may seem minuscule but it truly is metastatic and destructive in nature. It prevents prayers from being answered (Mark 11:24-25). And tell me who doens't want their prayers answer? I know I do! Mercilessness actually harms self and not the intended target (Matthew 18:21-35). Marianne Williamson states, "unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die." Being petty and holding grudges prevents the free flow of productivity and the power of the Holy Spirit that occurs when groups of people are in unity and on one accord (Matthew 18:19-20).
If Jesus, the all perfect, blameless, faultless, flawless God can forgive you and me, we-- who are imperfect, definitely to blame, at fault and very flawed-- can forgive one another, with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course. I have had some pretty messed up things happen to me in life and I have done some pretty messed up things as well, but God has implanted in me a heart of forgiveness for others and myself! I sought and continue to seek Him in prayer, asked the Holy Spirit to help me in my weakness, and when pettiness and the desire to avenge rises up in me I go to the Word of God (my weapon, Ephesians 6:17) and confess those promises of God found in the Word over my life. I am believing that the Holy Spirit with help you the same way he is actively and continually helping me. That you can be set free, so you can live a full and whole life. Plus we need for our prayers answered; we do not need any poison drinking situations and happenstances occurring (lol); and we must have productive cooperative lives with others.
I am believing this for you and I both. God can do it! Nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37).
Be blessed y'all. And know that God loves you like crazy. Oh and I almost forgot this part, He forgets all that messy stuff you did... on purpose ;).
It is forgotten and you are forgiven, in Jesus Name!!
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