The Bible regularly reminds us to be prepared, to stand ready… Luke 12:35-40
35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
How we prepare is important, while we prepare ourselves physically, we must also prepare ourselves emotionally and spiritually. On the idea of preparing spiritually I have decided to clean out some of the cobwebs in my spiritual life and get things cleaned up and ready this year as I prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. In preparing for the coming of the Lord, whether I am preparing to celebrate His birthday or preparing for His Second Coming, I need to let go of the things that distract me. So, I will live a forgiven life, and I will be a forgiving person. Forgiving someone is as much, if not more, for my benefit as it is for theirs. Forgiving someone releases the negatives and frees me to focus on my faith and my family, unrestricted by anger. I can forgive someone, but that does not mean that I need to forget and thus put myself in a position to be hurt again. If I forgive someone who is truly sorry for a transgression and we move on together, rebuilding our injured relationship that is good. What about those relationships that can’t be repaired? What about those people who are not sorry, who do not recognize the hurt they caused and don’t own their portion of the problem? I can still forgive them, because holding on to my hurt probably does nothing to them, if they are so blind to my initial pain, they will not see the continuation of my pain. No, I will forgive them, pray for them to be blessed, (not pray for them to see the error of their ways, that is making it all about me)I can and will pray for them to feel peace and to find their way on the path the Lord has placed before them. I do not have to enter back into the lion’s den and place myself at their mercy, I do not have to list for them the ways in which I believe they wronged me and wait for their sincere apology, I do not have to open myself up to more pain or risk future heartache, I can forgive them and move on. I am free to forgive because I am forgiven. God knows what I have done, and I am forgiven, the Lord does not forget my transgressions, He forgives them. So, in preparation for Christmas this year, as part of my getting ready and as part of my faith journey I choose to forgive, to let go of any and all baggage I am carrying around packed by someone else and weighing me down needlessly. I am clearing my head and heart and preparing myself, I hope that anyone who I have wronged can do the same, can let go and forgive, not for my sake but for their own.
Please let me live a forgiven and forgiving life, a life filled with love and not anger, a life filled with peace and joy and not resentment and regret. Please help me to be mindful of the traps that exist that would lead me to hold on to negative feelings, please keep me on the path You would have me walk, so that I don’t get mixed up in the situations that You would have me avoid.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son and my Savior