So, the day was going along quite nicely. It really was, and I was feeling successful. So successful in fact that I told a friend it was a “banner day.”
Not long after that, my kids and I managed to get out the door with time to spare, which never happens. It wasn’t until we were halfway to our destination that I realized something important. I was supposed to bring along work gloves so that I could take them to Michael, who was picking up lumber after work for our back yard fence project.
Well, I couldn’t turn back now – it was too far back to the house. And so, I called my father-in-law (their house was the initial destination) and I asked him if I could borrow a pair of work gloves to take to Michael. He just laughed and said that he’d look around for a pair.
It wasn’t until I hung up the phone with my father-in-law and was talking to my husband that I realized what I’d done… because Michael questioned me, “You asked my dad for a pair of gloves?” in a tone that made me feel quite ridiculous.
banner day over.
Friends, you may not know, but I have an amazing father-in-law. He is very wise, and full of more common sense than anyone I know. He’s more active than most men his age, gardening and helping Michael with the shop. However, due to an accident at work, my father-in-law only has one hand. a left hand. But, he typically doesn’t keep those right handed work gloves…
As we wound our way up the highway, to the top of the mountain, I was horrified. And I knew I must apologize right away. ASAP. Hopefully I could smooth things over.
When we arrived at their house, I begged forgiveness – but, he wasn’t concerned at all. In fact, we laughed it off, and I knew I had been given a beautiful gift : the gift of “No offense taken.” It is hard to come by these days, in a time when everyone is looking for things to go their way, unwilling to allow differences or mistakes, let alone offer forgiveness.
As I drove around town, running my errands, I couldn’t help but see all of the budding trees turning a fresh green against the bright blue cloudless skies. It was a tangible reminder of spring, and its renewal.
Jesus promises new beginnings – that he will make all things new. This promise applies to my sinful heart and my wayward deeds. He has done everything necessary to remove our offenses, and offers full forgiveness and a completely renewed life. He can do this because of His incomparable sacrifice.
Here at this time of Easter, the Passion Week underway, Jesus says, ” I forgive.” He holds no offenses. The one who deserved no punishment – took all of the offenses on himself.
from Isaiah 53: 5-6
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
All of us who believe in Him, yet offend every day and need the grace of His forgiveness, have no reason to hold offenses in our hearts… ever. Often, I take offense, completely unable to forgive, tho I have no right to do so. Jesus’ work on the cross allows me to forgive others. always. just as he does.
My father in law was authentically Christ-like today. and I’m very grateful for his example. and for a Savior who forgives unconditionally. May I learn to receive that forgiveness more fully so that I can give it away.