Have you seen the One For Israel YouTube channel? Oh my! Those who share their stories mesmerize me with their transparency and joy in Christ.
Last week I watched Jonathan share his story of learning to forgive a man who tried to kill him. Jonathan endured a horrible beating, five and half months in a coma and waged the internal battle of doing as Christ commanded, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” ~ Matthew 5:44, or seeking full justice against the man who hurt him.
Jonathan suffered at the hand of a fellow officer, Korish, while they were both serving in the army. Legally Jonathan had every right to hold Korish accountable. With one word from Jonathan, Korish would be sentenced for decades for his ruthless behavior. Not only that, Jonathan stood to be financially compensated for his suffering. All Jonathan had to do was say the word, and he’d see justice served and compensation fill his bank account.
As Jonathan struggled to make the right decision, Jesus began changing the lives of many of Jonathan’s family members to the degree that Jonathan also started seeking Jesus and reading the bible. One day as Jonathan studied his bible he came across the Parable Of The Unforgiving Servant, (Matthew 18:21-35). Jesus told shared this parable to remind his listeners that we are all called to forgive, just as we are forgiven.
What an incredible emotional, psychological and spiritual battle Jonathan must have gone through. Can you imagine walking in his shoes?
The world screams for punishment of the foe and reparation for the injured. Jesus encourages forgiveness for all.
Jonathan’s story resonated with me is because, truth be told, there are a few people in my past whose memory make me cringe because of the pain associated with them. At the same time, my mistakes have caused others pain and to think of them now, I’m ashamed to admit the truth.
I wonder if Jonathan’s story resonates deep within you also. Maybe you’ve been horribly wronged and now you want restitution, payment of some sort. Or maybe you’ve walked in Korish’s shoes and you’ve hurt another person and are desperate for forgiveness, to make amends.
What should we do? Neither decision is easy to make. To whom shall we turn to ease our hearts, to free us from the pain?
Jesus teaches us to forgive just as have been forgiven. Yes, there are times when forgiving and seeking forgiveness feels impossible. But it’s not impossible. God says, “all things are possible through Christ who strengthens us.”
So today my friend, I pray you will find peace through Christ just as Jonathan has done. Seek to forgive and to be forgiven. If you don’t know the first step to take, seek the Lord, He will guide your footsteps towards healing.
I am praying for us both. Because I too need to forgive and be forgiven. Together let us boldly approach the throne of God and seek His holy face and may we be forever changed for His glory.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” ~ Matthew 7:7-8
For those who would like to view Jonathan’s full testimony please enjoy the attached video and may you be blessed.
Until we meet again, may God bless and keep you,