One day I was complaining to God about certain people. You know those people who don’t even know you personally, but somehow they feel they know enough about you to despise you. They do not have the right to judge you, but take it upon themselves to do so anyway.
Then in the silence of my heart, I felt Jesus spoke to me, “Been there, child!”
That’s right. I forgot that no less than the Son of God who came that we may have a full life received the meanest, cruelest treatment.
He was stoned and not welcomed.
Spitted on and not smiled at.
Scourged, deprived, mocked, crowned with thorns, nailed on the cross and ultimately, left to die hanging there.
After all He had done for those people.
He healed them when they were sick.
Freed some of them when they were held captives by the devil.
Fed them when they were hungry.
Taught them what they must do with their lives. Guided their ways and enlightened them. And promised them a great life if only they will trust and obey the Father.
He did not get a “thank you” in return. He was ridiculed, convicted and persecuted unjustly.
So how can He comfort us who are hurting and suffering? How can He assure us that everything will be fine despite the storm in our lives? What gives Him the right to command us to stay still and trust Him regardless of what we are going through? Not only because He has got the power to heal the broken and take away fears and worries. But most importantly because at one point, He too was betrayed. He too was hurt, abandoned, treated unjustly. He went through what we are going through. He’s felt what we are feeling.
What makes Him really holy and worthy is that unlike us, He did not respond with hatred and grudges. He did not respond in an evil way. He was not tempted. He quietly obeyed the Father’s will. He forgave. He even prayed for His perpetrators and asked God to forgive them too.
Now that’s something an average human is not capable of doing. I am a rational being. I respond according to how I feel. Sometimes I don’t want to forgive my oppressor and pray that God will forgive them too. I am not as perfect as Jesus is.
But I have learned that forgiveness is a decision. It does not necessarily have to follow what I am feeling. I was made in God’s image and likeness and so I was created for love and to love. That also means, despite, the anger and the pain, I can forgive. I just need to make up my mind and give it a go.
If a God betrayed and hurt can still show unconditional love and forgive the most sinful of man alive, I know I can do it too. Though the world can be really mean to me sometimes, I was created to love. And to love is to forgive.
If I fall short, I always have a good example to reflect on how it’s done. He knows my pain.