“Forgive and forget” is an oft used phrase for conflict. It is obvious that forgiveness is a necessity for us all (Matt. 6:14-15; 18:35). I have preached about forgiveness on occasion. During these times I was sure I understood what the Bible intended and was certain about proper attitudes and conduct from a Biblical standpoint.
But there is a variable that sometimes has been unaccounted for. It is the hurt that is experienced from the offense. Until you have experienced a deep hurt caused by someone else, it is very hard to help people know how to deal with it. This pain is not something that just goes away in a moment. Even after a wrong forgiven, this pain can linger inexplicably no matter how hard one tries to remove it.
How long does it take for medicine to work? When you have a headache or some other ailment, you want relief as fast as you can get it. If there really were a drug out there that would provide instantaneous relief, the inventor could name the price. But all solutions take time. Some may alleviate the pain for now, but it can come back again at a later date.
Before we get too discouraged, we might consider the fact that our Savior dealt with pain. He endured hardship, rejection, accusations, physical harm, and misconceptions about His purpose. But over the process of time His pain has been eased. His pain has been eased by His victorious resurrection and ascension. His pain has been eased by obedient followers who also allowed themselves to experience similar sufferings for His name’s sake. His pain has been eased by the revelation of the truth over time. His pain has been eased because of His heart of genuine forgiveness and mercy, understanding the nature of the people He created.
I wish I could tell those reading this article there will be no difficult times ahead. I wish I could tell them there would be no sickness, pain or heartache, no death, no rejection or hurt feelings, no recurrent pain long after an incident has taken place. But pain allows us to grow and depend on God. Pain allows us to be more careful with our activity. Pain allows us to learn valuable lessons about life. Pain allows us to have fellowship with the Man of sorrows, who Himself was acquainted with grief (Is. 53:3).
If there were no pain, what glory would there be in our final victory? If there were no pain, what consolation would exist in a heavenly abode? If there were no pain, what hope would we have of things that are better? God knows what he is doing. Trust Him. He understands every heart ache. He will ease your pain.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” ~ (Hebrews 4:15-16)