After publishing an excited post just a couple of days ago about the fact that I think someone might be praying for me, I would like to use this post to offer up my own prayers.
That is, I would like to use this blog post to publicly offer prayers people who have caused me pain, to put it bluntly! Jesus tells us to pray even for people who hurt us (Matthew 5v44), and following on from the “Gracist” post of last week, and then the fact that I think that someone is praying for me, I am full of such goodwill and positivity and joy; I want to conclusively put an end to all these issues, forget they ever happened, and look forward with optimism and hope for whatever lies in store, especially in the light of all the lessons that have been learned.
So yes Lord, I pray for these people! I pray that by Your grace and Your Majesty You would pour out Your love, Your peace, Your beauty upon their lives. I pray that You would take them from strength to strength in knowing You, in living for You. I pray that You would bless their marriages. I pray that you would fill their homes with laughter, that you would bless their jobs and the works of their hands, that You would empower them with every grace imaginable, that You would open the windows of Heaven and pour out onto them a blessing. All the excellent and wonderful things that I pray for myself, I also pray for them too: for beauty, for joy, for grace, for understanding. I fully release them in forgiveness. In all honesty, I know that my behaviour to these people was generally outstanding, and generally did not warrant the ways that they treated me. All the same, I pray that to the extent that I might also need to be forgiven, that You Lord would give these people the grace to forgive me.
I also ask the forgiveness of everyone who reads this blog – to think that I could have released myself to such anger and vitriol, which does not honestly reflect Christ, or the standard to which Christ calls His followers. I also ask the forgiveness of these people and especially these churches, for giving myself over to anger, to the extent that I would slate them here on this blog. And I daresay I also need to forgive myself, for letting myself get so angry, for being unable to let go of this thing, for failing to trust God, and His instructions to us to forgive, but continuing to churn these thoughts over and over in my mind, letting myself get angrier and angrier. To be honest, I feel like I’ve been an absolute idiot for letting myself get overwhelmed by these thoughts, for letting them take over my mind, for so long.
So here it is, I am finally letting it all go. I am putting it down, I am turning away, I am leaving it all to God. And by the grace of God, I am moving forward. I have sincerely forgiven these people – all of them. I am not only writing this post for the sake of trying to impress whoever it is who might be praying for me – although I can’t deny that there might also be an element of that too!
I know myself that the thoughts will reoccur in my mind. However I trust that God will give me the grace to quickly root out these thoughts and come back to a place of grace and positivity.
Something that fills me with great joy is the thought that this is a huge life lesson, not just in relation to these particular individuals, but also for any time this might happen in the future. By the grace of God I hope I can say that I now know how to deal with these issues – not least how to minimise the possibility that they will occur in the first place, but also how to prevent my heart from being consumed by anger and hatred.
And finally, I’ve got to thank God, of course. What an amazing God I serve! What a privilege Lord it is to be called by Your name, to be called to Your service! I am so grateful to You for Your word the Bible, and the truth that shines out from each verse, each word. I thank You Lord because Your word is light, and it is life, and I pray that You would give all of us – not only me, but also everyone else reading this – the grace to obey Your word, to trust it, and to do it, even when we do not understand, or it does not appear to make sense.
People, I need to tell you (finally finally!) that God is real, His word is truth! Sometimes this Christian life is hard, and I don’t get it, and to be truthful I don’t really want to get it! However, when God shines His light into those deep recesses of my heart, I am brought to the point of thinking: “What a good God this is!” It is actually at times like this, when I’ve acted badly, that I am most grateful for the challenge that comes from God’s word; it is then that the truth of God’s word strikes me most forcefully.
I encourage you to reach out to Him, to experience His truth for yourself. After all, if you eventually decide that there is nothing in it – that Tosin is crazy – then you won’t have lost anything, would you?! If however, you come to a point of seeing that “My goodness, this thing is real!” – then you will truly have gained everything!
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…
Photo of Green Smoke by Utoplec on Pixabay