Life. Abundantly.

Boldly equipping followers of Christ.

Month: July, 2011

Letter To A Lost Friend

Dear Friend,

Last night I found myself crying. To my shame, I should have been in tears so much earlier about what happened between you and me.

The truth is that I haven’t been able to cry about it until now. I was consumed by anger and hatred for all the things you put me through. I kept replaying those moments over and over again in my head every time that I thought of you, until finally your face became synonymous with pain in my mind. I erased the truth of who you are with petty resentment and bitter thoughts.

And then last night I found myself in tears. I wasn’t crying because of what you’d done to me, or because of the pain I was choosing to relive again. I was crying because I finally saw how incredibly sad what happened between you and me was.

Because there was a time when I held so much love in my heart for you. There was a time when I saw you through God’s eyes, when I saw the beauty and light in you. There was a time when we were friends.

And then somehow, somewhere down the line, I let unforgiveness and bitterness creep into my heart. You did some bad things, and I did some bad things, and before I knew it we’d lost the precious thing that was our friendship. Where there had been so much grace and love darkness and contempt brewed instead.

I thought I could never forgive you. I thought that I could never get past the bad things you’d done to me. And then it struck me. However genuinely bad and uncool some of that stuff was, there was nothing, absolutely nothing, worse than us losing the precious and irreplaceable thing that was our friendship.

I think that part of why I was so angry was that, for me at least, it feels a lot less painful to be angry than it does to feel the full force of sadness about what happened.

I know that this doesn’t change the past. The issues are very real. The past can’t be changed. But I’ve finally remembered that there was a time when I was blessed by you, when I genuinely cherished you in my heart and in my mind. And to know that I allowed the memory of the genuinely good things that we shared to be lost is just the saddest thing I think I’ve ever heard.

I think I need to put a different priority on things. Because prioritising my hurt above showing you grace just isn’t working out for me. I don’t like the person that it’s made me one bit, and I can’t spend another day murdering you in my heart.


Why Not How

William Joseph Slim advised that “When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take – choose the bolder.”

I’m someone who used to make most of their decisions from a negative stance, from a place of fear, unbelief, and poverty mindedness. The process would look something like this: Why shouldn’t I do this? What are the material facts? Do I know every detail of how to do this? I wouldn’t take a step forward unless I knew all the specifics of the “how”. Unfortunately my poverty minded mindset told me that I was lacking and limited, and so my grasp of the “how” was greatly flawed.

I was once particularly hesitant to step out in faith about something God had told me to do. I was afraid because it involved many unknowns, particularly in the area of finance. Even though I was stuck in a rut at the time, and it was the only semi-logical step forward on offer, fear was getting the best of me.

Then my Mom told me a story, from 2 Kings 7:3-4, “Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.” My Mom pointed out that choosing to stagnate is a form of death, and that the worst that could happen was no worse than that death kiss of stagnation.

Fast forward a few years on and I now firmly recognize that just about anything in life worth doing involves their being unanswered questions when committing. Be it getting married, having children, signing up for a missions trip, moving to a different country, or taking on a new career, it’s like endorsing a blank cheque. Almost certainly you’ll have absolutely no idea of what you’re actually signing up for! It’s a leap into the unknown, firm in the belief that God has promised you that He’ll be there with you in it.

In the movie “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade” there’s a scene where Indiana Jones faces a huge chasm. In faith he takes a step, seemingly into thin air, only to discover that a bridge appears under his feet as he does so. I believe that faith is ever so similar. Often the way forward will only appear as we step out in faith, even though so much evidence tells us that it is impossible.

I’ve found that this is particularly true in the area of finance. So often we decide that we can’t do something because of the material facts in front of us. We negate that God never orders something He can’t pay for. But like with Indiana Jones’ bridge, we’ll only discover that the provision does exist if we’re willing to take the first step.

Certainly the material facts can loom in front of us like angry goliaths threatening to clobber us if we dare to take a step forward. So it’s vital that we bolster ourselves with the truth that God tells us that we can do all things in Christ. (Philippians 4:13)

It’s about remembering “why” we should do something: because God told us to go forth and multiply, because he told us to subdue and steward, because His word is true and He loves us and will supply for all our needs. When we can honestly answer the right way to the “why” question, we no longer need every detail of the “how” planned out before moving forward.

***If you’d like to subscribe to my blog please scroll down to the bottom of the page and input your email into the “Email Subscription” section. Please note that you will be sent a confirmation email which you will need to respond to in order to activate your subscription. If such an email does not arrive in your inbox promptly after you sign up please check your spam box.***