Putting the 3rd key to focusing on God into practice

As many of you may know from previous posts, I live in a cozy home, also referred to as a small house. Which considering that myself at 5’10” is the shortest of the four adults living there, it makes for tight quarters. Especially with only one full bathroom. (the washroom is in the basement two levels down.)

When someone gets up in the middle of the night, inevitably someone else gets woken up. By either the sound, the light, or the stumbling and bumping while trying to keep the light off.

I also have two young cats, one of whom will wait patiently for the first person to awake. The other, not so much. Henry will throw himself at a set of wiggly closet doors until I get up to pay attention to his need.

Which when it happens an hour after I get to sleep, or an hour before my alarm is set to go off, or on the really hard nights – both – requires me to use the third key to keeping my focus on God and not what’s happening right now to stress me out.

Forgiveness.

And as Jesus so aptly put it, constantly offering it. Over and over, even if it’s the same person (or cat) pushing your buttons time and time again.

For not only does forgiveness set us free from our negative emotions and making a soul tie to a person or situation, it does something else which I find rather amazing….

Forgiving someone for hurting you releases their true identity over them.

Forgiving is an important key to keeping your focus on God, and how He wants us to live, especially through the harder days.

Like those when living with the kind of sleep deprivation I have not experienced for decades since having newborn or sick in hospital children.

Whether it’s due to their snores, late nights help finishing papers, mid night bathroom interruptions, or a glow in the dark badminton birdie cat toy your toddler cat can’t wait for you to throw for him at midnight.

How have I been coping in this season of weariness?

  1. Speaking out what I am grateful for every day.
  2. Praying about everything when it comes up, and asking God to guide me through.
  3. Forgiving when someone, intentionally or not, hurts me in any way. Even if they have done it before.

But here is the point that God highlighted for me this morning in the verse below.

It’s often those who are closest to you who hurt you, isn’t it, friend? Your spouse, your child, your parent, your best friend, your coworker.

Those we are around the most have the most opportunity to hurt us, just as much as we can hurt them.

I have learned that as often as I need to forgive others, I also need to offer myself forgiveness for what I have done that harms myself.

Like late night binge watching Netflix when I should be sleeping. Or eating that fast food meal when my body is crying out for fresh foods.

May we be walking expressions of forgiveness like Jesus was when He walked amongst us. Keeping our hearts free and close to His.

Word:

“At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”
Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:22 MSG)

Worship:

“Not Guilty Anymore” by Aaron Keyes https://g.co/kgs/w64YTG

#hopefortheharddays


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