As I think about posting this entry, I keep asking myself: why in the world do I want people to know this about me? So I need to be clear about the reason not only for this particular post, but for all of them, which is to glorify God and help others to get closer to Him.
So, gathering courage I will share with you something that I am not proud of, but I pray that by sharing this, you will see the amazing heart of my Father and I hope, just hope that it’ll give you a better understanding of how much he loves you and me. I pray that as you see your own heart through my story, you will be drawn closer to our Father, praising Him for the amazingly loving Father he is.
For the last two months, my extended family has been through some really bad problems. One of my brothers, my dearest one, had made so many bad decisions, and abandoned his faith in the Lord and his family, then submerged himself in sinful acts, breaking the hearts of all who love him.
When I knew what he had done, at first I was worried sick. I didn’t want my dear brother to suffer the consequences of his mistakes. I knew that he was heading toward disaster, and I tried to warn him about it, but he wouldn’t listen to me.
As the time went by, I started to feel very disappointed on him. I’ve always loved him, respected and trusted him a great deal. I could have sworn he would never fail his family or me. He was a smart hard-working man, always willing to help others, even if he had to sacrifice himself. He had been through so much in his life and still he hung in there, always hoping to find a way to improve. From time to time he lost his way and came to my husband or to me for a word of advice. We were very close to him.
So, for me, to see him lose his way completely, abandoning the Lord who has sustained him all of his life, became unbearable.
And I found myself one afternoon not only rejecting him because of the kind of person he is now, but also hating him! I hated the man he became! I hated what he did to his family! I hated him because he hurt the people I love! I hated his abrasive words towards me and my husband! Here I was, loving him so much and hating him at the same time; feeling miserable because of this.
“Oh, Lord!” I said to God, “how can you love HIM? He has become a terribly disloyal, cruel person. You have to be an awesome God for loving him! Your love is so immense, so incredible! God, how can you love such a person?”
My father answered me (not in voice of course, just in my heart and mind) “I love YOU and you hate him in your heart”.
This thought resounded in my mind as I stayed there just pondering for a moment. He is right! (The thought clicked at last within me) He loves him and he doesn’t deserve it and He loves me and I don’t deserve it either! While I looked at the ugliness of his sin, the Lord opened my eyes to see my own sin as well. I realized that I was not better than him and if I were standing before the Lord, I wouldn’t have a chance.
How amazing is His love that he doesn’t think about us and hate us, but he sees us and loves us. He has compassion toward us in the same way that a father has compassion for his children when they’ve gone astray. He is always looking at us through his loving, merciful eyes!
How great He is! I thought. Thoughts of praise rushed from my heart to Him! He helped me to understand that He wants me to feel compassion and mercy instead of rejection and hatred, not only for my brother but for all people.
I asked my Heavenly Father to forgive me and clean my heart. I thanked Him for taking the time to show me my own heart and for being patient with me.
The Bible says: ALL of us have fallen short of his glory. None could stand righteous in his presence if it weren’t for our Lord Jesus. How had I lost sight of this truth? I don’t know.
The Lord is still working on my feelings, bringing forgiveness, and mercy to my heart, so I can extend it to my brother. I am not there just yet, but I know that the Lord will lead me to that place of mercy where He dwells.
What I’ve learned is so great: all that I am only confirms what the Bible says He is: merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in mercy. Praise the Lord!
(You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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