Imagine God has a checkout line, much like in a department or grocery store. But first imagine rows and rows of beautifully wrapped boxes in a large warehouse. Each box contains a gift from God. The only clue as to what is in the gift box is a Bible scripture printed neatly on a shelf label. On each gift hangs a gift tag with a person’s name neatly printed.
You have just entered my spiritual dream. We are in Heaven. And the gifts we are viewing are all the gifts that could have been ours, if we had only known how to receive.
I pick up a beautiful red foil wrapped box with a light pink silk ribbon tenderly embracing the contents. I peer at the tag and there printed in large letters is my name, Sarah Ruth Johnson. I look down at the shelf label and find it reads: Leviticus 26:11 and written beneath it is the word acceptance.
My mind runs scriptures like a video set on fast forward, stopping at Leviticus 26:11 which I read “I will place My residence among you, and I will not reject you.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
The thought of what this means overwhelms me. I think upon how my heart was broken time and time again over one rejection or another. And I remember all the times I read God’s promise that he would never leave or forsake me. He gave and promised acceptance and everlasting love. I wanted to believe in a love as that He spoke of, but it eluded me. My faith was weak.
With the realization of what I had lost and why, I begin to pray. Father God, please forgive my unbelief.
You further enter my dream and reach your hands out to grasp the gift of acceptance from me. At the same time, you point to the shelf label beneath where the gift had set. The scripture written upon it has changed to Genesis 50:17. Again, my mind searches for memory of the words. Upon the words appearing on my mind, I read “Please forgive your brothers’ transgression and their sin – the wrong they caused you.”
The gift looks so beautiful in your hands and its’ contents are even more wonderful. The gift of acceptance is what I have always wanted. But forgiving, can I really do it? Not only does it seem impossible to forgive those who hurt and rejected me, but even harder is the task of forgiving me.
As if God has just read my thoughts, He changes the label on the shelf once again. It reads in full, “If you will not listen, my innermost being will weep in secret because of your pride.” Jeremiah 13:17
I look back at you and wonder out loud, what does He mean by pride? You give me that knowing and questioning look back, as to say “I think you know.” I hear in my spirit, “You have the attitude that your sin and problem is bigger than Me, and that attitude is a form of pride.”
I look at the gift you hold in your hands. Then I take a real look at you. It surprises me who I see. I see in you, every person who has ever rejected or hurt me. You are all there waiting for me to forgive. I see repentance in your eyes. I see Jesus. I see acceptance waiting to be mine. I see love.
I cannot hold the words back any longer. I forgive you. I forgive me.
We now stand at the checkout line and there Jesus stands. He is smiling and He hands me the gift. He says it’s always been yours. It was just waiting here for you to collect. I have always accepted you. You just needed to believe. Once you believed, you understood what you needed to do. I forgive, and you forgive, that is called LOVE.
I awaken from my dream and am filled with amazing peace. There is a sweet fragrance that fills the bedroom. Jesus has made me a visit. He has delivered my gift of acceptance. One less gift sitting on a shelf in Heaven that is uncollected.
And you, the once un-forgiven but now forgiven, have moved on to do your own forgiving. God has gifts for you too.
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