Lay It Down
Once a month I write a letter to the wonderful Prayer for Prodigals community I am part of. Often those letters, though specific to those who love a prodigal, apply to any or all of us in the challenging circumstances of life.
Dear Lover of Prodigals,
Yesterday I hosted a bridal shower for a young woman from our church. It was a fun and sweet time. My friend Karen shared a practical devotional for newlyweds—and the rest of us. One of her major points: When your spouse angers, hurts, offends you—and he/she will—lay it down. Don’t harbor, nurse, hold on to that offense. Lay it down. Let it go. Forgive.
The day before two people had said things—relatively insignificant things—that had offended me. I had been holding on to them, feeling wronged, nursing my hurt feelings. So I did what she said: I laid them down, I let it go, I forgave.
It happened again with my (mostly no longer a) prodigal. I said something that upset him. I asked forgiveness. He forgave. We do this pretty well together most of the time. But then he said something that really hurt me. Something that said he is the righteous one and I am the wrong one. And I couldn’t lay it down. I couldn’t let it go. And I couldn’t go to sleep.
Finally I spoke words of forgiveness, though of course he didn’t hear them as he was home sleeping. This morning I have had to consciously lay it down several times. More specifically, I have laid it into the hands of Jesus. I may have to again.
Our prodigals can hurt, anger, offend us often. Sometimes consequences are in order. Sometimes our responses require that we ask forgiveness. Sometimes changes have to be made.But always we need to lay it down, let it go, put it into the hands of Jesus. And forgive.
I pray that each of us will be able—in the coming year--to grow in our ability to put those offenses into the hands of Jesus.
Blessings for your new year,
If you would be interested in requesting prayer for a prodigal loved one, or being a part of our wonderful praying community, respond in comments or message me on FB.
c2014 Judy Douglass