I was in that place this past Wednesday. The topic was forgiveness. I settled back in my pew ready to relax, more than to receive.
Scripture verses popped up on the screen. Over the course of the past nearly 18 years of being a Christian, I have read them countless times.
Yes, I know I am supposed to forgive. And I know it should be more than the seven times that Peter boasted about.
The thought crossed my mind, “I am beyond seventy-times-seven.” This honestly wasn’t a prideful thought but more of a frustrated feeling. I couldn’t help but wonder if there wasn’t some kind of cap on forgiveness. I mean, isn’t there eventually a point you reach in which the limit has been hit?
Then the topic of resentment came up. I started to feel a little unsettled in my heart. But then I almost breathed a sigh of relief when it was mentioned how those who are resentful are looking for payback.
Whew…that isn’t me. I definitely don’t want something bad to happen to this person I feel like I am constantly forgiving. I love this person.
It was nearing the end and I guess I was sort of feeling like I was home free. But then it happened…God spoke something very specific to me. It wasn’t a Bible verse that had been shared. It wasn’t a personal story that impacted me. It wasn’t even the usual teaching you receive about forgiveness (you know, how it doesn’t mean you are excusing that person’s behavior, etc.).
This was something that was specific and unique to my situation. You wouldn’t find a reference to it in the Bible. No one else would ever guess what was laid on my heart.
But here is the point. If I had not been sitting there, hearing a teaching on something I’ve “heard a million other times,” I would have missed out. It made me wonder how many other moments have been lost because I wasn’t there to receive it, either physically or otherwise.
How many times have I tuned out when God had something specific for me? Perhaps it is those moments in which we are ready to stuff some cotton into our ears that God might have the most to say.