Last night I had a nightmare. I won’t go into the details of it, but I woke with an awful feeling and started praying. Praying for safety for my family, but then my heart and mind took a more inward look. I took a step back and looked at the bigger picture. What if this was a sign from God, like in the verse above. What is God trying to tell me here? I begged God not to let it really happen.
I then looked at my feelings and reaction to what happened in my dream. They were very real feelings of anger and fear of frustration and betrayal. I longed for peace, and with my heart still racing, I did not have that peace. I asked God what I needed to do to have peace, and felt Him say “forgive.” Wow – that would be hard! It was only a dream, but the emotions I was experiencing were very real feelings and I did not want to forgive.
I looked again at my dream and the different aspects of it and realized that the underlying reason for all the bad things that happened was a result of people not fully following the teachings of Christ. People that should have known better that were just living for themselves. People living with no moral guideline.
Then I began to look at myself and my actions and reactions. The sad truth is that we live in a world that does not hold to the Biblical standard of right and wrong. Am I fully following what I read in my Bible? I am doing what I can to help others see that there is a better way to live? Am I willing to be insulted and persecuted and have people say false accusations against me because of my faith?
….am I willing to forgive them?
I realized that only in forgiving them, could I find peace. Not punishing them, or getting justice. Recognizing that those around us are caught in the devils snare and their actions and reactions are a result of that. I wrestled with this thought for a while as I prayed. And as I prayed, I prayed for them, as I felt that the people in my dream represented real life people caught in a cycle of sin. As I prayed for them, the feelings of anger and fear were replaced with peace and a passion to pray for others. Also a passion to do what I can to help others break the chains of bondage and look to Christ for the freedom they so desperately need.
This reflection started out as a dream, but has gone beyond that for me as I apply the reflection to different circumstances in my life. And as I move forward each day, I am asking God to help me be in tune with Him so that when I face challenges that I know will come, I can choose forgiveness instead of fear and anger.
Do you need peace? Examine your heart, look for the hurt, the anger, the fear and then recognize that the author of those feelings is the devil, not the person, and ask God to help you forgive.