Finding Forgiveness

My mind has been preoccupied this week with preparations for our upcoming vacation, but I’m not so distracted that I have missed the headlines.

I’ve never been one to hide from troubles or look for an escape from conflict. Still, I’ll admit that I will be greatly relieved to jet off to another part of the world for a bit. For two weeks I will be immersed in the history of Israel and Jerusalem — visiting landmarks, museums and holy sites. I will hear about ancient battles, and learn about some still being fought today. During this time, I will try to forget all the anger and division I am leaving behind. And I will pray.

I will pray for peace when tempers flare.

I will pray for courage that I might share.

I will pray for comfort when friendships end.

I will pray for grace and forgiveness again.

In the midst of all this anger and division in our nation, we need to find forgiveness, even when it is the hardest thing to do. Jesus taught us that forgiveness is not a quantity. It dwells deep within the heart. It is like an abundant and overflowing well that never runs dry.

Perhaps we can each find someone who is thirsting for forgiveness this week.

Restoring Joy

I don’t have a whole lot to share today.

Aside from being sick most of this week, I have been feeling overwhelmed and anxious with all the turmoil in our world. I am deeply saddened by all the anger and hatred. We have lost our ability — and our desire — to listen to one another.

What I want most to share today is this: Despite all the evil in this world, I am trusting that God is still in control.

I know it sure doesn’t always feel that way, and many (myself included) struggle to understand why evil often prevails over good. But fear and anxiety can quickly overtake us and leave us feeling hopeless and alone. This is what happens when we look to the world to comfort and console us. Only one Comforter is able to fully restore our peace and bring joy back into our lives.

Take some time away from the news this week. Instead, look for ways to share joy with others, just as Jesus taught us to do. I think you will find that a simple act of selfless love is just what this world needs. ❤