After the cold and dead of winter comes the new life of spring.
Seemingly lifeless branches burst with new growth and life.
Flowers push their way through barren soil to display vibrant colors and beauty.
All around us is life.
You see, I was there.
No, not spring.
There are many seasons in life. We all know that.
And for me it was a reality not all that long ago.
I felt like a bare branch poking out of the ground. Barely clinging to the life buried deep inside. I was hurt. By people I love.
Relationships seemed to crumble around me. Accusations were flying. Hearts hurting. Including mine.
I couldn’t escape.
I couldn’t trust anymore.
Fearing rejection and more pain, I locked up.
Wounds wide open and sore.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14
There it was.
Conviction settled over my wounded heart.
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” Matthew 18:21
So it started. The process of forgiving. After all, if I didn’t forgive, God would not forgive me.
Not to forgive just seven times, but seventy times seven. Seemed so unfair. But necessary.
And it was there.
A flicker of life from deep within.
A green leaf growing from the dry, barren branches.
A petal slowly unfolding in the warmth of the sun.
Forgiveness is not a feeling, but a choice.
It wasn’t my circumstances that changed. It was my heart.
I was no longer a bare stick poking out of the ground.
I was alive.