My Thanksgiving Prayer
I am sure many of us can relate to this. Yesterday was a very tough day as I was personally stabbed in the back. No, not physically but figuratively. It hurts, stings and even today, brings a tear to my eye.
My friend and for the past 20 years, partner in ministry stabbed me in the back. I think we both knew there would be growing pains as my wife and I transitioned to a new church. We did not expect the reaction that we have received or felt from our former ministry partner during the two months since we transitioned our ministry.
It makes Thanksgiving a little tough, for the feelings of hurt are still there. But last night as I thought about what happened, I can see areas, where indeed I could have handled things differently. I can see where the signs of problems developed quite some time ago, until yesterday they bubbled over, words were spoken, feelings were hurt, and Thanksgiving could be ruined.
When so much has been invested in a relationship, and you have enjoyed working, sharing together, and both our families have spent countless hours together in both ministry and in recreation, the loss creates a stinging heartfelt hurt.
Perhaps this is the way it was for God the Father and the Pre-incarnate Christ when Adam and Eve figuratively stabbed them in the back. Think of the love and compassion shown by the Pre-incarnate Christ as he kneeled down and formed Adam out of the dust of the earth, and later Eve from Adam. How he lovingly set aside one day each week to spend with His newly created family in God’s home on earth the Garden of Eden.
Yet despite the stab in the back, the rejection the Pre-incarnate Christ and God the Father felt from their earth family, they still continued to love and show mercy, tenderness and compassion toward them. He continued to lead, guide and direct, yet the rejection of the human family toward God continued.
Which brought my thinking to the scene on Calvary. Here is the creator of the world being nailed to a wooden cross. The emblem of suffering and shame, dyeing the most humiliating death possible and from hands of the ones He had created, loved and shown mercy toward. But instead of getting mad, upset or speaking words of hatred, Christ said, “Father forgive them” (Luke 23:34).
If my Saviour and Lord who was every bit as human as you and I, refusing to use his divinity, but instead becoming one like us can then love his enemies and even when suffering the most humiliating death at the hands of those He loved, then how can I let this disagreement between my friend and I affect me. Instead of being mad, I need to bend my knee and pray, first that my own sins and short comings will be forgiven, and that my heart and the heart of my former ministry partner will also be changed.
Since we last celebrated Thanksgiving, I am sure each of us can think of the many ways we have been hurt by someone or something. Let us all bend our knee, humble our spirit praying that the sins and short comings in our life will be forgiven and then pray for those that have hurt us.
Oh, trust me, I know this is much easier said than done. It difficult to pray for another, especially when they have hurt you, or even you have hurt them. But if Christ can pray for, and love those that crucified him. If Christ is truly our Lord and Saviour, then His example should become our desire. That would be, we love one another as he has loved us.
Therefore, for the family of my friend and for my friend I offer up a prayer today, that we both can forgive each other. Instead of focusing on the negative that has happened, let us focus on all the wonderful blessings, that have come from working and sharing together over all these years. May God richly bless you and keep you until the day of His return.
To each of you reading this, this morning, I pray for each of you, that you too can put away the negative thoughts toward friends, family, and coworkers. Instead remember the blessings God has bestowed upon us all. So many that we cannot count and in ways we will not know or understand until His return in the clouds of glory.
This is my Prayer, Happy Thanksgiving and Blessings, to you all. Amen.