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    Seventy Times Seven

    Monday, December 15, 2014

    She lay in her bed, eyes open wide and watched the minutes slowly tick by. She should have been asleep hours ago but peace wasn’t coming. Tomorrow was going to be busy, why couldn’t she just fall asleep?
    Tick tock. Tick tock.
    She played and replayed an earlier conversation in her head and knew that she hadn’t gotten it quite right.   Judgment’s had been made. Harsh words had been spoken and what had started as a “discussion” turned into a heated argument. And she’d gone to bed on it.
    That never made for a soft pillow to sleep on.
    Especially when as the minutes turned into hours and the hours gave way to dawn and the realization that “I should have handled that differently,” began to settle in.
    It was always so annoying when that happened. Things were just always easier to deal with when a finger could be pointed at someone else to take the blame.
    But tonight that wasn’t the case and try as she might to place the reproach on her man, it just wasn’t fair. And she knew it.  So along with a void of peace came the sister burden of guilt and another rock was added to the pillow.
    It wouldn’t have been so bad if perhaps this was an isolated event.  But she was beginning to feel a lot like Peter when he asked Jesus if he must forgive up to seven times in one day.
    She thought of Jesus’s reply back to Peter.  It was/is perhaps one of the most astounding pieces of conversation recorded in scripture. “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
    Jesus knew that we would live in a fallen world and that there would be days that we would try our best and just not get it right. He knew that married couples, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, neighbors and church families would have spats. We would all need forgiveness and need to be forgiven.
    The trouble doesn’t lie in the act of saying, “I was wrong and I am sorry.” There is nothing wrong at all with having to do it more than one time, more than seven or seventy times even in ONE day.
    There is a problem however when we think that we’ve figured it all out and no longer need the grace of Jesus. When we point our fingers at others as if to say, “This is where I am and this is how you get here,” we are only setting an example of perfectionism that is unattainable.
    Will there ever come a day when we absolutely get it all together and are no longer in need of grace?
    She read Matthew 18 and thought of many times when she had needed it before. And the many times she knew that she would need it again.
    Tick Tock. The clock was blinking slower now. Or so it seemed anyways. Her eyelids began to get heavy.
    It’s sort of funny how relieving it is to realize we’ve got tools to deal with the mess of these trenches.
    We are ok as long as we realize that’s just it. We are all fighting the good fight of faith and will be until the day we are all made perfect in Heaven.
    We fall into trouble when, like Peter, we put a limit on God’s forgiveness. And how many times it should be given.
    She closed her bible and did what she knew she’d have to do all along.  She asked for the forgiveness she’d been needing so desperately, realizing it was only a whisper away.
    The pillow was softer now.

    She fell asleep knowing that He would be right there for her if she had to repeat the process seventy seven times in that very day.








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