Forgiving Your Circumstances

I was standing in the shower the other day and I was following a trail of thought where it would take me, without worrying about getting back to the trailhead. And something hit me…it was actually one of the very rare moments when I have an idea wholly new about a subject I’ve been thinking about for years on end.

This probably happens to coaches who come up with a new theory or at least a theory new to them. No one told them to strategize a particular way. They were just standing in front of the mirror shaving and Boom! they knew they had something worth pursuing.

Mine almost always happen in the shower. This is a new shower so maybe it has great karmic energy or something.

Just kidding about the karma.

Here’s the thought – a life being shaped by the beauty and wonder of grace will not only find it easier to forgive people but will also find it easier to forgive their circumstances.

Forgiveness requires a peculiar softness. And I think it is the peculiar nature of grace to soften a heart to the point of being softened toward the circumstances it may find itself knee-deep in. The soft-hearted person changed by grace longs to go beyond being resigned to circumstances to being reconciled to them. The same soul’s need to be reconciled to another soul will find it easier to be reconciled to and even make friends with difficulties and disappointments, sufferings and stress.

Think about it. Don’t you just naturally assume those who are forgiving of others will be more likely to see the redemptive possibilities in their own problematic circumstances?

It’s not immediate, of course. It takes time – so this is obviously beyond the legalist’s understanding. But what happens over time is being more susceptible to seeing the good in everything. You starting wanting to not be mad at people…at your lot in life or even your agenda for a day.

I’ve been convinced for a while that the more you get grace all over you, the more you’ll see goodness and beauty and awesome things everywhere all the time. This is about as certain as a fat kid wanting more cake. This may be established fact.

So lately I’ve wanted to be more forgiving. And it’s caused an expansion in my heart. And just moving toward that horizon has had an effect on the way I see my circumstances. I know I can’t literally forgive my circumstances but the same hatred of them has the same stench of hatred I am apt to feel towards others when I don’t forgive.

As I thought about all of this in that shower and began to dread the work-day in front of me, the dread was washed away like dirt and the day seemed a little brighter. I’m sure, just as I needed a shower the next day, I’ll need to be reminded of the peculiar nature of grace also. I’m just hoping this old, hard heart of mine will continue to soften toward the circumstances God has given.

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