Last night I found myself watching a program on prayer late last night, early this morning and one segment talked about a woman who talked about forgiving the Nazi's who had imprisoned her family in Bergen Belsen, forgiveness is a powerful tool and we all have the power to forgive but to forgive something like that prayer is needed, and we truly need to lean on the Lord.
I have been hurt before and have forgiven, but never have I experienced the pain of not knowing whether or not I was going to be gassed In Nazi showers, and perhaps even praying that I would, because so much hope was stripped from me, forgiveness of something like that is done with the hand of God, and with a lot of support, it was a Christian friend, nearly twenty years later and in California instead of the Dutch camp of Bergen Belsen, in California, Vera gave the hurt and pain she was holding onto to God. Like she said forgiveness is not about letting someone go scot free but about letting God take care of the justice.
I listened intently to Vera Schlaam's story and found myself thinking of our own power to forgive, far too often, we hold onto the smallest offenses not giving them to God. I am not talking about putting ourselves back into a situation where we know we are going to be hurt or bullied again, but what I am talking about is letting go of the anger and hurt and giving it to God, and then moving on with our lives. Sometimes the Lord shows us that we need to be put back in a situation where we were hurt before, sometimes he so drastically changes hearts that he wants you there to encourage them, but often he just wants us to step back, and pray. "Pray for your enemies." It Is not an easy thing, but what Jesus did for us is not easy either.
As I listened to Vera Schlaam's story, and the power she found in forgiveness, I thought of my own life, and how I have forgiven those who had hurt me, only to find the blessings in the act of forgiveness.