Tag Archives: injustice

Outside Looking In

Carl’s nose was pressed against the French door as he watched the people inside mingling around. He wanted to come in but the electronic door wasn’t working and he seemed to be stuck on the outside. IMG_4601

How many times have you ever felt like you were on the outside of a group or situation and just didn’t know how to get in? I know I have felt this way many times in the course of my life.  I have wanted something that others had and felt the insecurity that comes when I didn’t feel like I measured up.

Hagar definitely struggled with being on the outside. She was an Egyptian maidservant living in the home of Abraham and Sarah. Looking in on this couple, I am sure Hagar longed for her own husband and a man to love only her.

To make matters worse, Sarah told her husband to take Hagar as his second wife and bear a child. Instead of being happy about conceiving Abraham’s child, Hagar began to detest Sarah for the situation she was now in. Genesis 16:4

It is easy to understand Hagar’s feelings. We have all felt the nagging anger that comes when our lives don’t turn out like we expect them to. And to make it even more difficult we seem to draw others around us that appear to have just what we want.

So what do we do when we are stuck on the outside looking in? How can we be content in all situations?

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11-13. “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

So the next time you start looking through the glass from the outside, take your focus off of the people inside and look towards Christ. Paul was so right, only when we focus on our savior can we be content with any and every situation.

Carl doesn’t have the ability to see beyond the glass and the humans that are mingling within the confines of the room. He only has the capability of focusing on what he sees. But thank goodness God created us with an eternal perspective that can help us see beyond the confines of this world.IMG_4427

It’s All in a Number

As I open my eyes, the thoughts start to flood back into my consciousness. The same rehearsed dialogue rushes through like a wave crashing on the beach. I try to change my thoughts but the injustice of the situation can’t leave my mind and heart. It has been days of continuing this dialogue in my head with nothing but feelings of anger to show for it.

I know I must stop the feelings and thoughts that keep pounding in my brain. But how? To receive healing from the unforgiveness that has bound me like a tight rope around my throat, I need to go to the only source that has power.

I opened my Bible and turned to Matthew 18:21. Peter is asking Jesus the same question that I have asked. How many times do we have to forgive? It states: “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’

Then Jesus answers him with words that initially I don’t want to hear. How many times do I have to endure the injustice by the same person before I can justify these feelings? “Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:22

Seventy- seven times! Why seventy-seven? There is something in the number that just came to me yesterday. Seven is an extremely important number to God. Didn’t God create seven days in a week? Weren’t there seven churches, seven angels, seven seals for the seven scrolls addressed in the book of Revelations?  Didn’t Joshua and the nation of Israel walk around the walls of Jericho seven times before God tore the walls down? I could go on and on but what I discovered when thinking about the importance to forgive is that even this word has seven letters. How cool is that?

Another insight that was given to me about the importance to forgive has to do with the Biblical meaning of the number seven. This number represents completion, totality, or divine perfection. In the same manner, I believe Jesus used this number regarding forgiveness because he wants us to know that without it, we cannot feel complete in who we are as followers of Christ.

I finally feel equipped to move on and truly forgive from my heart. Not because I have to, but because I want a relationship with Christ that can’t exist in my previous state of incompleteness. If I truly trust in him as my Lord, than I need to be convinced that he wants what is best for me. And I think he has made it abundantly clear that it starts with forgiveness.