In spite of how hard you try to avoid it, you’re not going to get through today without hurting someone. Probably a number of someones. Likewise, as much as you try to avoid it, you’re not going to get through today without being hurt by someone. Again, probably a number of someones. That’s why God makes the two sides of forgiveness so important. You need to forgive others when they hurt you – really and truly forgive them regardless of how difficult it is. You also need to forgive yourself when you hurt others – really and truly forgive yourself regardless of how difficult it is. If you can’t, you’re going to carry around anger and resentment that will poison your relationship with yourself, others and even God. So begin today by opening your heart to God who can’t wait to help you turn today into a forgiveness day.
I look at the world – and I look for hope. I look at people I know – and I look for hope. I look at me – and I look for hope. Yet I often don’t find it or, when I do, I walk back from giving myself to it.
That’s why I have a request to make. Use whatever kind of grace it takes to help me absolutely trust that You are exactly the hope I need. And please keep at it until I truly experience the breadth, depth and wonder of Your hope that never fails.
Hope that is love so powerful, I can never get in its way. Hope that is forgiveness so wonderful, I am relieved of guilt imagined and avoided. Hope that is transformation so complete, I see, think, feel, believe and act in brand new ways. Hope that is a miracle so real, I am able to live Your hope by just being me.
God reaches out to you every single moment of your life. There’s never a time when God’s grace is not enveloping you. Of course, this does not mean you always embrace it. Sadly, it’s often the contrary. Still, it’s always there because it’s just who God is and what God does. There will be times, however, when you will experience God’s grace in a way that can only be described OMG – Oh My Grace. Not everyone will see it clearly, like fireworks exploding in the night sky. Or that you will live happily ever after, like the closing page of a child’s book. Or even that your life is picture-perfect, like the beautifully decorated homes people like to post on social media. OMG simply means that God loves you so personally, passionately and powerfully that God reaches out into your real life with real love that makes a real difference. Not just in theory. But in exactly the way you need.
There is a long list of things you can’t do. You can’t fix the government. You can’t cure the church. And you can’t change the world. But there is something you can do that may be far more important than all of these things put together. You can get right with God. Not by trying to be perfect, seeking to be more righteous than everyone else or attempting to earn your way into heaven. But simply by making it your life’s priority to approach God with a humble spirit, get real with God, invite God to go to work in your life and share with others the abundant grace God shares with you. And here’s the irony about the whole thing. When you make it your life’s priority to get right with God, you’ll be amazed at the difference you start making in the lives of others, your community and the world.
There have been horrific and unthinkable events during the past week – but today is still a gift from God. Something unexpected and tragic may occur in the next few hours – but today is still a gift from God. What the future holds is truly a mystery – but today is still a gift from God. This reality is more powerful than all the acts of terrorism, natural disasters, accidents and personal pain put together. It means today is not just another day to get through, rather it is a day in which God is beckoning you to partake of God’s abundant life right in the midst of your real life. So even when you may experience heartbreak that seems to spin your life hopelessly out of control, remember this: it’s always God’s life. And that means you can, laugh, hope and live today without any ‘ifs’, ‘ands’ or ‘buts’!