I recently spoke with a friend who is waiting for forgiveness from someone in her life. For days, I’ve been thinking about that phrase, “waiting for forgiveness”. It feels so wrong, so offensive to me and I’ve wondered why. You see, I’ve never had to wait for God’s forgiveness. God is quick to forgive. So I think it feels wrong to wait for forgiveness because it is wrong. It is not the way God meant it to be. My list of offenses toward God is too long for me to even understand, but because of Jesus, He has never held that against me. God looks on the Jesus’s perfection and pardons me.
I think of myself as a disheveled, dirty, smelly, rag-wearing, mess who crawls into the throne room of the King. Every eye there knows I should be violently kicked out but much to our surprise, the Prince stands in front of me and I am hidden in Him. The King looks on the Prince’s perfection, is delighted and happily pardons me, the hiding beggar, all because of what the Prince has done. There is no time for me to make a case for myself, no consideration of my faults or my resume, no deliberation on the King’s part. The pardon is full, fast, and free. Every time.
So you can see how waiting for forgiveness does not fit into my picture at all. Waiting for forgiveness sounds like waiting for your sentence in a trial. It sounds like being on death row. It sounds anti-Gospel.
But here’s the worst part…I wonder how many times I have caused someone to feel this way because I’ve been slow to forgive, or ok, let’s just call it what it is, unforgiving. I have actually said to my husband (post-disagreement) that I’m not mad but I’m not ready to forgive him. What does that even mean? It means that I’m being an arrogant, anti-gospel wife. Ouch!!!
Here’s a truth worth memorizing…
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
I am so comforted by God’s character and His remembering of my frailty. Like God, I must remember that on Earth, we will always be frail, flawed, and broken. Who am I to make someone wait for forgiveness? So to those of us who are waiting for forgiveness, take solace and rest in God’s timeliness. He has never and will never make us wait for forgiveness. To those of us who are waiting to forgive, just do it…go on now. Jesus will teach us how.
Lord, help me forgive fast, fully, and freely. Thank you for doing that without fail. Thank you for loving me steadfastly and remembering that I am dust.
This dust loves You. Amen