Thursday, April 30, 2015

Finding God's Presence ~ What Can Happen When We Bump Crazily Into One Another?

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Guest Blogger, Sally Matheny @Sally_Matheny

My guest today is Sally Matheny, a friend I met several years ago at Writer's Advance Boot Camp. She is a remarkable woman full of grace and confidence, whose spirit is clothed in kindness. Sally's post today deals with a very important subject: forgiveness. I am personally struggling with this right now and found her words of wisdom to be very inspirational. I pray that for each of you who may have been greatly hurt or harmed by the words and actions of others - I pray that the words of Sally's heart will give you strength for the journey and carry you closer to the Lord's throne of grace.

Welcome Sally!

After several days of cold and rainy weather, a sunny afternoon enticed me to sit on the back porch. Enveloped in the warm rays of sunlight, I closed my eyes. A faint, peaceful ting-ting stirred from the metal, wind chimes. 
Burdened for a Christian family struggling to find peace, I began to pray. I did not know all the details, but apparently years ago, their miscommunication hurt the feelings of some of their friends. The family has sought forgiveness but the offended friends will not give it.

The most troubling part is the miffed ones are professing Christians as well, yet they will not let go of their grievances towards the family who upset them.

Oh, Lord, please give both families peace and restore the broken relationships. How can Your people harbor anger and resentment towards one another for years?  Help us to see this does not glorify your Son and the sacrifice He made for us all. Lord, no matter what the situation, remind us that through Your power and strength we can forgive others. Protect us from Satan convincing us otherwise.

A gust of wind suddenly caused the ting-a-ling of the chimes to crescendo. I opened my eyes to see the metal tubes bumping crazily into one another. Yet, no matter how forceful the wind, each chime continued to produce pleasing sounds. 

I sat listening, pondering how the chimes never ring a sour note. High, middle, and low tones work in unison to produce beautiful harmonies.

Oh, dear friends, God can do that. He created each of us with unique characteristics and yet the abilities to complement one another. Just as the metal chimes are bound together, so also we Christians are united by the love of Christ.

Trials will come as surely as the wind blows. Let us bear with one another and work together to produce a beautiful offering to our heavenly Father. As soon as trouble begins to brew, address it with prayer and wisdom. Pray for a heart of patience, humility, and grace. As the storms press hard against us, only through love and forgiveness will we be able to orchestrate a magnificent concert of praise.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”   Colossians 3:12-17

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Where is God when it's hard to forgive? @Sally_Matheny shares via @NanJonesAuthor (Click to Tweet)

Meet Sally:

Encouraging others is Sally Matheny’s mission in life.
She enjoys “reflecting on ordinary life under God’s extraordinary Light.” 

A freelance writer and blogger, Sally’s writing is published in Appleseeds, Clubhouse Jr., Homeschooling Today, Practical Homeschooling, Keys for Kids and many other publications.  She serves on the leadership team for the Write2Ignite! Christian Writers’ Conference and loves encouraging others to use their talents for the Lord. 

A former public school teacher, she’s homeschooled for over fifteen years. She and her bi-vocational pastor-husband have three children and live in the foothills of North Carolina.
Visit Sally’s blog to receive encouragement for Christian living. You can also find her on Twitter, Pinterest, and facebook.

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