"Have you forgiven God yet?" I was asked this question by someone as we were praying and discussing various things in life together. I was already feeling much better as we had walked and prayed through many issues of the heart. (If you didn't read the blog on Story Telling by Dr. Sarah with Iris Ministries you should just click here!)
I half snorted and laughed as I responded, "Forgiven God for what?" I know that I've only been saved for ten and a half years, but one thing I've learned is... God is perfect. I mean that is Christianity 101. He may have plans that I don't always just love immediately, but He's always right, He's never wrong, so why on earth would He need to be forgiven? I'm in ministry, I can't say that God did something that He needs to be forgiven for. He's the best thing that has ever happened to me, there's no way on earth, I'm going to say He needs to be forgiven..... or so I thought.
"Jess, He's big enough, He's loving enough, He can take it"
Through more prayer and listening I began to see some things I never saw before. I've spent years of my life asking God for forgiveness, but I've never once realized that I would ever need to forgive Him. Daddy God is my Papa. He's my Best Friend and my Savior. He walked into my life when everything and everyone else had abandoned me, broken trust, fallen down, or just didn't have the ability to be there for me. He captured my heart and has been my Everything through good and bad. I've never trusted anyone or anything the way that I trust Him.
But what about when life went way wrong? I never would have voiced it and I never would have identified it without help, but there was something inside of me that wondered why He let it happen that way. Why He didn't prevent it. Why He didn't protect my heart. Why He let me fall. Why He let me get hurt. Why He didn't stop the things I heard and saw. Why, Why, Why. All the questions I refused to let myself ask, but they were still swimming around in my gut, impacting me without realizing it.
When you travel to other nations and you see the devastation of poverty, war, sex trade, witchcraft, injustice, and more there's so many responses you have some good, some bad. I've always chosen to say God, you're working in this situation. I may not understand the why's, but I know You are always working, I know there is hope. It's when the response begins to be "Why?" that we begin to allow wrong mindsets to set in. And those mindsets blame God for either His action or lack of action.
I'm choosing to be this vulnerable because I can see where this issue affects the lives of many. When we open the door to doubting God's plan, doubting His faithfulness, even just being hurt that He didn't intervene how we wanted, we have to forgive Him. We have to trust Him as our Father. We have to trust that Daddy knows best. And as you forgive Him, forgive yourself, and forgive others, true freedom, empowerment, grace, and love can be at work. We all walk through trials and hard times. There will be circumstances we don't understand. Our hearts might get hurt. Our bodies might be effected. Our mind, will, emotions will be impacted. Tests, trials, attacks... they hurt, but God will remain faithful to His Word. He will you through. He will develop all of the love, patience, strength, that you need.
I was talking with a lady just a few days ago who was telling me about her husband whom she loved having an affair and leaving her. She was devastated, heart broken, felt abandoned, caught off guard, and alone. Now years later she is super active in prison ministry, leading Bible studies, ministering all around her. I looked at her and said, "You are so much stronger than I knew" and she responded, "I'm stronger than I knew".
You never know what's ahead. Trust Him.
We may not understand it all, but we can trust Him. He's big enough to take your frustrations, He's big enough to take your pain, He knows when you're hurting, He knows when you've been disappointed in Him and others. Talk to Him, forgive Him, trust Him. "He can take it"
Be Blessed, J. Tate