Not long ago I had a deep prayerful conversation with someone who has deeply touched my life. I think this person by far has been the strongest and yet most humbled I have known. We talked about who deserves Christ, the love of God, and how the Body of Christ is supposed to be “as one” just as Jesus is one with our Holy Father. There is no doubt we have a dysfunctional family but we are family none the less. Yet Jesus prayed we be one.
The oneness Jesus spoke of is not just one church body within an organization but through the whole Body of Christ. Yes, we fall short of that for sure. If we are ever supposed to achieve what Jesus asked for then we have to let down our guard, open our hearts, and allow bridges to be rebuilt where they have been torn down. We will never do this if we treat one another as an inconvenience.
Bottom line, lack of forgiveness is at the root of our demise. So many are unwilling to forgive or to allow their inner hurts to be revealed. Unfortunately, the only way to be completely be set free from inner hurts is to expose them, let God heal them through Christ, and choose to love even when it is hardest. Healing begins this way, and oneness begins this way as well.
I understand it is hard to look at the truth when we think it might be an imposition upon our lives. Maybe it will expose something we don’t want others to know about. Unfortunately God knows it all anyway and eventually it will all be exposed in the light of Christ. We might as well expose it now and get it over with. Sometimes we think of our own self instead of the other side of someone else’s issues. How many people could we heal if we would just allow them into our hearts enough to converse with them, get to know them, and understand them, like Jesus did?
It grieves my heart that we are so burned in our souls that we burn others when they try to touch us. Sometimes we even burn ourselves. Can we ever reach the point of maturity where we can let down our guard enough to give others the benefit of the doubt that they might be great people? Maybe they made mistakes. Maybe we ourselves made some too. We all have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory. Are we too self centered that we deny Jesus His one prayer to the Holy Father before His crucifixion? He said, “…that all of them be one, Father, just as You are in Me, and I am in You…” John 17:21.
The Lord instructed us all to pray for our enemies. Although, often who we consider to be our enemies are not enemies at all. Praying for someone is the most loving and excellent thing to do. This does not mean, “Get them Father”, but “bless them Lord”. In all honestly, we break one another’s hearts. That is a given. We do this because of our own wounds. Our wounds push away instead of cover like Christ. This should not be, yet it is a reality within our Christian faith and the Lord’s Body.
Thankfully, the Lord always knows the intention of our hearts and when they are good, he acknowledges the goodness within us. So, keep on praying for those who oppose you, who have hurt you deeply, who have lied to you, and who have cast you off. Your heavenly Father knows your heart, has felt your pain, and will heal you because of your obedience. He loves when we build bridges instead burn them. This does not mean we take disrespect. We can pray at a distance. But it does mean that God can work miracles through our prayers with good intentions. He loves us with an everlasting love. That means all of us! He never treats us as an inconvenience, never lies to us, never blocks us when we reach out, and never stops loving even when we fail Him.
None of us deserves His love and yet He gives it lavishly. We should be grateful for what we have in Him and for what we have in one another. Maybe some day we all will. Until that day, we keep on praying without ceasing, because it still remains the most loving thing any person can do for another.
In love and healing
Pastor Jenine Marie Howry
Jenine Marie Coaching and Ministries