Sorry for the double post this week. Last week got so crazy I forgot to post. We were trying to squeeze every last drop of fun out of summer before school starts.
After everything Jacob did to his brother, it’s easy to understand his concern about encountering Esau again. However, we find it wasn’t necessary. God had been working in their hearts for years between their first altercation and deception.
But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked. Genesis 33:4-5
Wow! Have you ever received forgiveness and grace of that magnitude? Or have you ever found yourself in a place to extend that kind of forgiveness? Both positions are humbling and can bring a sense of awe and gratitude one doesn’t normally experience in daily life.
What kind of life would Esau have had if he had kept all the anger for his brother in his heart for years and years? Keeping anger, resentment, shame or guilt bottled up does nothing for us. I remember when a “not so fresh” smell had taken over my car. There was no more ignoring it or covering it up with air freshener. So, while getting gas I decided it was time to clean out the trashcan I kept in the back seat for the kids. Whew! If you have ever been a mom or had kids in your car for any length of time you can imagine all the things that came out of that trash can. Some recognizable and some NOT!
Forgiveness is just as vital to our walk with God as repentance. If our hearts go uncleaned we can start acting “not so fresh” ourselves. Attitudes, anger, restlessness, regret or whatever else you have left rotting in your heart can permeate your life and the lives of those around you. Ignoring it won’t work. Covering it up won’t work. Well, it might for a little while, but eventually, you won’t be able to stand yourself or worse, others won’t want to be around you.
The good news is that just like that trashcan in my car, we can empty out the trash we ’re holding in our hearts every day! God is waiting for us to drop it off at His feet, accept His love, His forgiveness, and His grace so we can extend it to others. His great love for us is a mystery to me. I don’t understand it, but it is real and available to us if we just ask.
L – let it go
O – on your knees
V – very passionately
E – every day!