The pressure had been building, my patience strained. So much has happened in the last two years….. Watching my father slowly be destroyed by the cancer that was taking everything from him little by little, until there was nothing left. My children moving 2000 miles away and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t changed me. I find it harder to breath these days. I feel like at any moment everything is going to fall apart and go away…. I find myself frantic, frustrated and trapped. Trapped in a cage of grudges and bad blood. Bound and gagged in the dark corners, festering…. feeding the destruction.
“Don’t let it go, you’re no punk”, “You see, the betrayal has already begun, get ready”.
Constant whispers, encouraging me to hang on to the anger.
So subtle, so persuasive that I didn’t even realize that I was playing right into the enemy’s hands. Divide and conquer, so he can kill and destroy.
Then one day, BOOM, I recognize what is happening….. but it didn’t change.
I had secured such a grip on my anger, my fear, that recognizing what was happening wasn’t enough for me to just let go. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t…..I didn’t know how.
For months the pressure built, affecting my peace, my marriage, my joy. I’d be praying daily, “Father, take it away, I don’t want to be angry, I want peace! Help me Lord”
No answer, no relief.
Then a week or so ago I was riding my bike to work and the Spirit spoke to me, “What are you waiting for?”
“For help Father. I can’t do it, I can’t be okay with this, I am not ok with being treated like that, I don’t know how to let it all go, Help me!”
He responded, “No”
Suddenly He brings to mind Exodus 14:13-16
“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.”
Then the Spirit asked me again, “Now what are you waiting for!?”
This time the question pierced me to my very core. It was like God punctured a pin hole in the darkness that had blanketed me, and the light began to shine through, and I saw…
I muttered to myself, “It’s my decision….and I choose grace.”
I kid you not, In that moment it was like a weight slid off of my shoulders and I smiled…. I let go, because I chose to.
Grace is so hard, because nobody deserves it, but we so desperately need it. Yes to receive it, but more importantly we need to choose to live it…decide to give it.
Only then will we be free. Only then will we be able to experience all of what God desires for us, and from us.
Unity, peace, and love can only be obtained by demonstrating the amazing grace that each of us has been shown.
He will help you, but you must choose.
Written by: Justin Ludwig
Photo from: https://sojo.net/sites/default/files/blog/Grace_Dove-change.png