I came face to face with suicide. Let’s state the obvious; sin makes us dirty. Whether we have hurt someone else or we have been the victim, we’re left broken, undesirable, alone, guilty (genuine or perceived guilt), unsalvageable, tarnished… in a word “dirty”. During Sunday’s message it was made clear that pure forgiveness requires “give and take”, just like pure love. Receiving forgiveness is the first part of being saved and made holy (set apart). But it’s when we give forgiveness that our salvation is solidified. We are made into a brand-new creation. The old has literally passed. We can remember what we’ve been through, God doesn’t erase our memory. But the pain can no longer be felt because we become someone else; someone other than the person who was broken.
Some years back I was the victim of the unthinkable. I was broken in every way, including physically. I didn’t sleep for two weeks, no drowsiness, no cat-naps, no vacation from the horrible pain. I had thought through precisely how I was going to end my life. I was seeing two pastors, a medical doctor, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist was putting me on a daily escalation of narcotics, assuring me that “tonight, you’ll get some sleep”. My medical doctor found out I was driving myself to appointments and took my keys and called my wife. He told me that only under sever psychosis do people go weeks without becoming tired.
At some point I asked myself if I wanted the person who caused such damage to burn in hell for eternity. The easy answer for me was; “No, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy”. I mean, eternal life apart from God without the possibility to rest from the torture and no way to die. No! I couldn’t wish that on anybody. So, I said “God, I can’t forgive, it’s humanly impossible and you know it’s true. But I want you to forgive this person”. Immediately, God gave me the power to forgive. What was impossible for man became possible because of a miracle. That very night I slept like a baby without any medicine and I’ve never looked back. Today, I enjoy a great relationship with the other person.
Once, in a safe environment, I shared this story in much greater detail. I was asked “How do you even get over that?” I said “You don’t get over something like that…you become someone else.” I can’t stress any more clearly the healing power of forgiving others. God miraculously made me a new person when I asked Him to forgive someone who didn’t deserve it.
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” -Revelation 21:5 (NIV)