Tuesday, June 14, 2011

on forgiveness . . .

Corrie was spared, and survived the horrors of the awful camp at Ravensbruck. Afterwards she dedicated her life to witnessing for Christ by conducting meetings and writing several books about her experiences. Eventually, a motion picture of her life story was made. It was called The Hiding Place. Corrie tells of a very moving incident which happened during one of her testi­mony meetings in Germany, after the war. She had just finished speaking to the German congregation about the love of God and how He can forgive even our worst sins. 'In fact,' she declared, 'God takes our sins and casts them into the deepest ocean.' After the service, as people were leaving the church, she noticed a bald­ing, heavy-set man, in a grey overcoat making his way towards her as she stepped off the platform. As he drew closer, her blood ran cold, for she instantly recognized him as one of the cruel, wicked guards from Ravensbruck where both she and Betsy had been so inhumanely treated. Now this guard stood before her with an outstretched hand.
June 19
PSALM 130:78 2 KINGS 1O:I5 ROMANS 5:5
The man began to speak to Corrie. 'A fine message, Fraulein! How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea. You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk. Well, I was a guard there.' It was obvious to Corrie that he had not recognized her. But she had never forgotten his face. The man continued: 'You know, since that time I have found Christ as my Saviour and I know that He has forgiven me for all the terrible things I did. However, I would like to hear you say it too, Fraulein.' Again he reached out his hand. 'Will you forgive me too?'
Corrie stood, looking into the face of her former tormentor, a man responsible for the death of her sister. She recoiled in anger and contempt as the terrible memories came flooding back. Hatred welled up within her. How could she forgive this man?
She held her own hand behind her back as she wrestled with the awful contradictions raging inside her. Love and forgiveness had been her message to others. But right now it seemed impossible to practise it herself. One of her favourite sayings was: 'Forgiveness is not an emotion; it is an act of the will.' Poor Corrie, her emotions had failed her. All that remained now was her will.
Silently, she lifted up a prayer to heaven. 'Jesus, please help me. I can stretch out my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.' Awkwardly, hesitatingly, she reached out her hand. Suddenly her prayer was answered, for immediately her heart was filled with the love of God for this man. 'I forgive you, my brother!' she cried. 'With all my heart I forgive you too.'
June 20____________________________
PSALM 86:5 MICAH 6:8 MATTHEW 18:23-25
Forgiveness is very easy to talk or even write about, but we need the power of the Holy Spirit to actually forgive. For the Christian, forgiveness is not optional. It is mandatory.
Henry Ward Beecher said, 'We are most like beasts when we kill. We are most like men when we judge. We are most like God when we forgive.' Go ahead - stretch out that hand of forgiveness to someone today. Write that letter, make that call, as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you. And always remember the words of Corrie Ten Boom: 'Forgiveness is not an emotion. It's an act of your will.'

No comments:

Post a Comment