I talked about guilt and regret last week. I mentioned the conflict between my daughter and me. I’m not saying there weren’t good times. There were (there still are). I only wish there had been more. I love her so much, but I don’t believe she fully understands how much. Most importantly, I know God loves us both and cares about our relationship.
Ashley is very gifted, beautiful and smart. She has a beautiful, high soprano singing voice and is a talented painter. Ashley used to be a veterinary technician and can be asked just about anything regarding dogs and cats and she can answer you intelligently. Ashley has long, straight light brown hair (she’d say blonde) with gorgeous green eyes. She’s short, like me, but has been blessed with a couple more inches. Many people say she looks like me, which is a compliment, because she is beautiful. In fact, she just recently had a newborn baby girl and her baby girl is as beautiful as she is. Yes, just like every parent, I hope she’s learned from my mistakes. However, she is a success at everything she sets her mind to. I know she is going to be a fantastic mother. She already is.
She had moved out to start her own life. However, I noticed something unusual. Even though we fought a lot, I missed her. I missed the Ashley and me that enjoyed each other’s company when we weren’t at odds. Also, you don’t really notice the little things someone does for you until they’re not around to do it. She would put the flea prevention on all the animals and keep their nails trimmed. She’d help me sweep and mop the floors sometimes (this is difficult for me physically). She was always there to lift a heavy bag for me or get something down for me that was too high (I can’t use a ladder due to balance issues).
I really enjoy it when she comes over now. We don’t even have to do anything. Just having her around is nice. I think we were both trying to be the queen of the same castle. Well, there’s only room for one queen per castle and now we each have our own castle, which is good.
I can say now that we are actually becoming friends and she even talks to me about things she never used to before. There’s a closeness that’s slowly developing that I really enjoy. It’s a friendship that gets sweeter all the time with great promise for something even greater in the future.
Did you know God is in the business of reconciliation? It is because God looks at people differently than you do. You are not to look at anyone with your natural eyes. Read II Corinthians 5:16-19
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
He doesn’t want you to hold anyone’s sin against them either. You can’t do that and be reconciled to someone. After all, God wiped the slate clean for you.
Reconciliation is possible for any relationship. I’m praying he reconciles the relationship between me and my daughter, Ashley. I can see him working. However, I have to do my part. Oftentimes, God expects you to do something. You are to do your part and he will do his. In fact, you aren’t even to give an offering to him if you need to be reconciled to someone. See Matthew 5:23-24
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
Reconciliation is obviously very important to God. What relationship do you need reconciled? Is God telling you to do something? Then, do it.
When thinking of a relationship needing to be reconciled, I think of King David and his relationship with God. It says in the Bible that David was a man after God’s own heart. He was greatly blessed by God, even becoming the king. Then he committed adultery with Bathsheba. To add to things, Bathsheba became pregnant. So, David, not wanting the adultery to be found out, plots and arranges the death of Bathsheba’s husband.
The adultery gave way to more and more sin. However, doesn’t the Bible say that David was a man after God’s own heart? He was. David wasn’t perfect, obviously. He committed some very serious sins.
I’ve often heard people refer to King David and only recount his sins. They say he was an adulterer and a murderer. They don’t know or understand the full meaning of the story. The key they miss is that eventually, David did repent. He repented with his whole heart. Although he repented, David still suffered the consequence of all his sin and the son Bathsheba bore him, died. Despite everything, David’s repentance was genuine and God reconciled their relationship.
God loved David, but David needed to repent before reconciliation could take place. It had to start with David. In this example, I’m referring to the relationship between God and David. However, whatever relationship in your life you are believing reconciliation for, it has to start with you. Yes, you. God always starts with you. I know. It doesn’t always seem fair, especially when you believe you’re the one who was wronged. Doesn’t matter. God ALWAYS starts with you.
I want to take a moment here to make a point. Since my daughter and I have been talking more I’ve realized the hurts and sorrows in her heart that I didn’t know existed. I understand why she was and is the way she is now. There were other situations going on throughout her life that I wasn’t aware of other than my yelling at her all the time. As a result, I see her in a completely different light now. It’s like I have glasses on clearing up my vision. I can see her for the first time.
“What’s your point?” you ask? Remember when I mentioned above how God will start with you. He started with me. First he gave me some glasses. Those glasses brought conviction. I’d been so frustrated with her and so angry with her all the time, because of the arguing and so on and so on, that I didn’t see her troubled heart. No, that doesn’t excuse every argument full of nasty words exchanged between us, but I was seeing how my heart wasn’t right, not hers. That conviction brought me to my knees with tears streaming down my face repenting and asking God’s forgiveness for thinking only of myself and not noticing her pain. God had started with me. I had been living in a glass house.
I am doing what I can to make our relationship better. No, I am not perfect. The only one that’s perfect is Christ. I’m making it a point to try to show her more love and affection. I’m making more of an effort to take notice of my tone of voice and to say more loving things to her. I still mess it up from time to time, but I am a work in progress. I AM trying. As I take a step closer in our relationship, I witness her do the same. I believe one day it will be as if nothing has ever happened between us. What a day that will be! To God be all the glory!