Restful Understanding

I stood at the sink and emptied the vase of old water for my Gladiolus. Bright yellow flowers at the middle of the stem and buds with promises to bloom were placed in the sink. I carefully removed the old dead blossoms from the bottom of the stems and gave each stalk a new cut. I filled up the vase with fresh water and arranged the freshly cleaned stems in the vase.

As I cleaned up the old flowers and stems and discarded them, I thought how similar old hurts are to those dead flowers. In order to feel joy in life, we need to be constantly forgiving and letting go of the thoughts of old hurts. Our wounds need to heal, but if we harbor any hurtful feelings, anger or angst towards others, our heart becomes hardened. That in itself keeps us from enjoying each day and certainly from being healthy in the moment.

If I had left the old flowers on each stem, perhaps the new buds would never bloom. The bouquet certainly would not have looked as healthy and vibrant as the flowers in the vase did at that moment. I cried as I saw the meaning in the exercise of arranging these lovely flowers. The Lord is doing that same thing in my life right now. Reminding me that I have not forgiven someone in my spirit, and in doing so the Lord was bringing to mind memories I would rather not remember. As each thought comes to mind and I ask God’s grace to forgive, I am given the peace that shows me why the circumstance happened and how that resentment eats away at my joy.

Sometimes life feels like that, old hurts keep me from going forward in a healthy way into a new chapter that awaits me. As soon as I walk through the memory of the pain, forgive and let go, the reward of a new door is opened for me. It is difficult to walk through the pain of some leftover hurt. I really dislike that part of healing.

I felt so much anger this week that I had allowed others to hurt me over the years and I had kept my peace. Now I see that I truly had not forgiven the offence. I merely had kept silent and buried the hurt in a spirit of resentment, which I buried deep within an unhealthy heart. If I still feel resentment after all this time, than I have not forgiven them at all. Perhaps in keeping quiet the person that hurt me thinks they are forgiven, but does not know that I have unforgiveness, but I do. I learned that telling someone how they hurt you doesn’t always fix anything. Telling the Lord always fixes not only the situation, but adds another dimension to my understanding and wisdom.

Funny but the anger that I was allowed to feel again, gave me the compassion that I needed to feel how that person feels who cannot get rid of the anger. God allowed me to walk around feeling angry for days now, even though I prayed for him to remove it. This exercise allowed me to feel compassion for those who don’t know how to ask for God’s grace, and have to spend their lifetime angry. I understand now that it is by God’s grace only that I usually am slow to anger and can easily forgive. I can see that by not forgiving someone hurting me, I receive that same greed, selfishness, anger or sin that they do not have God’s grace to repair. Forgiveness is an act, a choice, but sometimes we need a little help in knowing just what God’s Word teaches us. We just need a dose of what His perspective is on the circumstance.

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11

The vase of Gladiolus in a bright blue vase seemed to smile. They comforted my soul as I trusted that the Lord was allowing this trial to heal me of old hurts. I read in my favorite devotional Hearing God, by Lory Basham Jones this morning. In it she writes what the Lord spoke to her during a healing:

“I will continue until I have healed all your wounds and restore everything the canker worms have eaten. For I know the thoughts I think toward you. My child, thoughts of peace and restful understanding.” (Read Psalm 107:7)

A funny thing about "restful understanding" you don't know why you finally understand something that was picking at your soul. It only comes by God's Grace, and it puts what was wrong right in your mind and spirit. It is the "restful understanding" that soothes my spirit. In understanding and accepting instead of trying to reason why, I find the path back to spiritual health.

The song for this post is Smith With Me
suzie q said...

Dear Karen, May you enjoy the very very best of spiritual health. You have the most beautiful, generous spirit and such a wonderful, serendipitous way with words (and pictures)! You are such a blessing to me.
Have a beautiful weekend, dear friend. Filled with the blessings that you bring to others.
Thank You :)

Kathleen said...

Hi Karen,
I can see that the Lord has really given you some important insights this week. That is so neat! We definitely do need to move beyond old hurts, and forgiveness is the way.
Blessings, K