Forgive God?

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In the beginning when I was in youth ministry, I started helping my teen girls with different problems. Unfortunately I didn’t feel confident to minister to those that went through severe trauma. I knew I was too young in my ministry to take on certain issues. I was heartbroken when a woman came to me seeking help for her daughter. Sadly, her daughter had been raped months before and was emotionally breaking down. I felt for this woman as she told me her daughter’s story and her growing desperation for a breakthrough for this young lady. I was besides myself when she asked ME to counsel her daughter. I took a moment to think and nicely told this woman that I was not equipped to counsel her daughter. I was nowhere where I am right now, and to do that would be dangerous. I gave her other options, but she did not like the other professionals I suggested. This mother was adamant about getting me to help, but I knew my limits. She went away disappointed and I was left wondering if I did the right thing. Ultimately I settled in myself that I was making the right decision – not for myself, but for both of them.

A few months after this conversation, I was sitting in church with the famous message on forgiveness. The speaker shared the basics about forgiveness but at the end of the sermon he had us pray and take a step of faith and forgive those that have harmed us. To my surprise the lady came up to me with tears in her eyes telling me she forgave ME!? I listened patiently as she said was so hurt that I would not counsel her daughter. This mother went on to say that she really needed me and that the other people I suggested were not good fits for her daughter. She felt like I was passing her off when she needed me the most. I wanted to interject and defend myself because…well, I did nothing wrong. Instead, I thanked her and embraced her and received her forgiveness.

This raises the question, is it possible that you have to forgive people that actually have not done anything wrong, but their decisions just hurt? My husband and I had a little debate on whether we ever needed to forgive God. Is there a need to forgive God even though God does not sin? Well we first have to look at what forgiveness is, not necessarily definition-wise, but what forgiveness is mentally or emotionally. Many have likened forgiveness to someone being released from a prison. Un-forgiveness is a prison that holds someone captive till they are set free. The truth of it is, we fool ourselves to believe that this act of un-forgiveness is keeping the one who hurt us chained up or imprisoned, but unfortunately we are wrong. The one who is imprisoned is the one who refuses to let go of the offense. The one that can’t forgive is ultimately the one who is carrying the burdens, the memories and the hurt.

In 2005, I was pregnant for a third time. My previous pregnancy with my daughter Rachel was very hard because all I did was throw up. I was so tired and exhausted that the idea of doing it all over again left me bitter and resentful. Sam and I made the decision that we didn’t want anymore children after her. To our surprise I was pregnant again whether I liked it or not. I decided that I was going to have a good attitude about it. I prayed for the baby growing in my belly with an increasing anticipation. My belly started getting a little bigger and I could feel the resistance when I slept on my tummy at night. I was almost 4 months when I realized that I was not sick at all with this baby. The pregnancy was going better than ever.

It was going smoothly till that horrible day… All of a sudden I started feeling pain and bleeding followed. I thought to myself, “God wouldn’t take this baby from me after I just started loving it. No this can’t be happening.” It became increasingly obvious that I was losing this baby and there was nothing I could do to stop it. No matter how I prayed and asked God for help, he did not. After a very dramatic miscarriage I came home and felt so empty mentally, emotionally and even physically. In silence, Sam and I put Rachel and Joey to bed. I crawled into bed and laid down. In the back of my mind, I was praying that I was some how pregnant with twins and there was still some life in there. I was in shock as reality set in when I laid on my belly and the obvious void was there. It was then that I cried bitterly. Where was God? I never asked for that child. Isn’t he the giver and taker of life? Why did he give me this baby when he knew he was going to take it away? How could I blame Satan for this? I prayed for God to give me answers but I got NOTHING. It was the most silent time in my life. That night I was sleeping in darkness, not natural darkness but silent, eerie, heart wrenching darkness. I tried to keep going on with the fact that God is good and loving and caring and would never do anything to hurt me, but that just made it worse. If God has all of that, then why not warn me or stop it?

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Forgiving a God Who is Never wrong

I needed to forgive God even though I know that God’s plan was and is perfect. I know he never makes mistakes and he has everything under control. Did I need to forgive because God was imprisoned by my bitterness, anger or disappointment? Was the truth of who God was, being destroyed by my grudge? Not at all! I needed to forgive him because in my limited world I can only see what is in front of me. I can only see my definition of injustice. I can only judge him by my finite, one-sided, biased standard. In my mind, he did me wrong, he failed me. God was not going to come down and show me end from the beginning because I was in crisis. He wasn’t going to explain the unexplainable. I needed to trust God and let MYSELF out of the prison I created for myself. I cut communication from God shortly and when I did speak to him my hurt spewed out. I questioned his character and the puppet-master-like quality I viewed him as. I was worshipping with my lips but not with my heart. The weight of my un-forgiveness was changing me and who God was to me.

I remember the day I forgave God – not because he was wrong, but because I needed to let him off the hook. I realized I needed to let it go without getting the answers to my questions. It was around that time that I became pregnant with Maria.

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Let God Off Your Hook

Ninety percent of those who I minister to need to let go of their grudge against God. That woman needed to forgive me because she felt like I failed her. But on the other side of it all, I made a decision for her daughter that was the best because what she wanted would have left her daughter more damaged and bruised. Sometimes life’s blows makes it seem like it is God who has sinned against us. It looks like he has failed or ignored us but that is not true. God does not sin, he fights for us, protects us and doesn’t sit idly by as his children are being violated. We must forgive God but not as a man who has sinned against us but as God who is making decisions for us that we may never understand.

Is there anything in your life that you need to let God off the hook for? Do you think he has disappointed you, failed to protect you or stayed silent when you needed answers? Well the only way you can receive the truth is if you forgive him, come out of your prison and return to intimacy with God. I know I know, it’s easier said than done. But easy or hard, it is the only that you can receive the healing you need in the other areas of your life. Through the Winters is here for you. Please comment below or email me on your struggles.

2 Comments

  1. by Tony Favichia on November 15, 2016  1:37 pm Reply

    Its called dying to self,total surrender to God and really in your heart believe it. It is taking me, I, out of the decision. I think its that place where Job was after God had finished talking to him. It saves us a whole lot of time of hurting and anger and complaining,and why me Lord, also.It is actually the best place to be,but not easy to get there sometimes.

    • by Marsha Winters on November 15, 2016  7:48 pm Reply

      Tony I could not agree more. I don't think I realized how hard I was making life till I did what you said and took "I" out of the decisions I was making. I experienced so much hurt and pain but when I did what you said and surrender, MAN was life easier, and embraceable. The truth is it takes faith and letting go to experience this kind of life and many people are too scared to do it.

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