Many years ago, I had the privilege of speaking at a retreat in a beautifully tranquil setting. It was a wonderful opportunity for women to be refreshed and renewed away from their normal routines, schedules and life’s demands. And… as happens at most retreats, for some women, it was a time of deep reflection.
It is often the case that women will rest and reflect long enough to realize that a part of them has ceased to really live or they’ve ceased functioning in the way the LORD designed. You know, it’s the busy-ness of life that quells the stillness needed for hearing that still-small-voice of the LORD… that voice that guides us, that voice that corrects and approves us. Sometimes we’ve been ‘busy’ so long that we can’t hear the voice but we know we’re suffering the consequences of the lack of fellowship and intimacy with the LORD. Sometimes we avoid those times because we know there are matters to deal with—matters to clear up. That’s why I want to talk with you about what I call: The Forgiveness Road.
The Forgiveness Road needs to be a well traveled, familiar road that is embraced and welcomed in the life of the woman who seeks godliness. But some would rather travel any road to avoid The Forgiveness Road.
Well, I met a woman at that retreat who had the sweetest face, the clearest and most beautiful blue eyes I’ve ever seen—I see her in my mind’s eye just now. It was heartbreaking to listen to her story, her story of grief and regret laced with the bitterness to which pain often gives way. You see, she was sharing her story with me following a session in which I briefly alluded to the adult pain and oppression of childhood sexual abuse. The LORD has allowed those past hurts in my life and the freedom He’s given me from that bondage to bitterness to enable me to help other women see that there is peace and there is joy in the LORD no matter what the pain, no matter what the past, no matter what the experience of sin or grief.
I could see in her eyes that fear was gripping her. Regret and resentment was ruining her life and her testimony. Admittedly, she was grateful for the work of the LORD in her life—but there was this “little area” she was holding on to. This little area in her life was controlling and confusing all the rest. Her relationship with her husband, her responses to her children and to her family were not what she longed for them to be. Through her tears she knew she had to confess that bitterness as sin. I shared with her that until she released her offender in her mind and to the LORD, that she herself would remain in that prison of regret and despair. I shared that it was time for her to walk the forgiveness road.
Maybe you are in such a situation today. You have past hurts, past anguish, disappointment and sorrow. Maybe someone you trusted hurt you very badly and your anger has become a bitterness that rules your life. You know, sweet sister, you must lay it down. You mustn’t carry that load any longer. It’s time to walk the Forgiveness Road. Don’t let the enemy of your soul trick you into thinking you cannot travel that road. Don’t be afraid to travel the Forgiveness Road. No woman ever walks the Forgiveness Road alone… because there is always a companion on that road. No, it’s not a husband, it’s not a precious friend, it’s not a sister… it’s the LORD Jesus. He always walks the Forgiveness Road—He’s paid the price and you can trust Him.
Once you travel the Forgiveness Road, you will know that peace that passes understanding and you’ll be on your way to joy unspeakable. Go ahead… lay that burden down and walk the Forgiveness Road today.
With sincere love for the LORD and for the sisters in Christ—