When I was in my youth I met a middle aged lady who knew I was a Christian and invited me in for a coffee and chat. She told me how she had been a Christian all her life and how she loved Jesus. She told me about her father and how cruel he had been to her all her life and she said on his death bed he repented and turned to Christ to forgive him.
Then her pain really came out. She said “I hate him for that, I hate him for that, after all what he had done to me, I wanted him to be punished and I hate him for that, to turn to Christ on his death bed and be forgiven, I hate him for that”.
About 15 years later I saw the same lady, now an old lady, walking the streets of London with a supermarket trolley and all her worldly possessions in supermarket carry bags inside it and as she is going through the streets of London she cursing and swearing.
Now I want us to reflect on that because there is so much to learn from that lady and her father’s life which could help us all to learn the importance of forgiveness and the importance of being forgiven as well as to forgive because we can forgive people for what they have done to us but it takes time for the pain and the suffering and misery to subside. People’s pain and hurt are real and God knows it takes time for them to forgive in their hearts and their minds.
Now everything works for the good for those who love the Lord and that’s why I thank god for that lady’s testimony and for her father because although her father had repented and although her father was forgiven as he looks down from heaven on his daughter all those years and sees how much pain she was going through, it will be a long time before he could find peace.
Now that lady loved Jesus, she loved him and she knew he had forgiven her father because he repented to Christ but her pain was so deep – she could not find forgiveness for him and that is why Jesus said it is so important to forgive unconditionally and to love unconditionally and offer our pain and suffering to the glory of God by giving it to Christ who can help us to use it in a constructive and positive way instead of allowing it to destroy our hearts and minds and fill us with yet more pain and more hate and bitterness.