The other day I read a touching anecdote which deserves to be shared.
A father and his daughter were no longer on speaking terms. Things had happened and as a result, they both had locked away the love they had once felt for each other in the dungeons of their hearts. One day the daughter heard that the father was dying and she decided to at least see the old man one last time before he would pass on to the next world.
When she sat at his bedside both of them were still. What could they say? At last, the dying man broke the silence and whispered, “My dear child, do you know that I have always loved you? I am so very sorry for the things I did wrong.”
The daughter looked at him, and the bitterness welled up in her heart. “You said, you would always be there for me… But you weren’t. You hurt me that way.”
The old man raised his bushy eyebrows. “How, child? When?”
And the daughter told him what had become the seed that had sprung into a root of bitterness.
When she was still a little girl, the Daddy wanted to teach her to ride a bike. But the girl had been scared she would fall. “You won’t fall, sweetie. I will be there to catch you. I will never let you down.”
But the unthinkable happened. At one point the father did let her go, and the little girl crashed into a wall and scraped her knee on the pavement.
The words of the father had proven to be untrue. He had not kept them, and she had gotten hurt. And that had been the first of many such instances where she had seen him not to be true. He was nothing but a liar.
But that day, there at his bedside as he was dying, the daughter wanted to get it off her chest. “Why did you let me go that day, father? I scraped much more than my knee that day.”
The father looked at his daughter and became pale. Then he whispered, “I am so sorry, my daughter. I did not really let go that day, but I sprained my ankle because I stepped into a hole. The sudden pain caused me to lose balance, which is what made you fall.”
And that is how it is in this life. As humans we fall time and again. We don’t mean to; we may not want to, but we do it nevertheless. We should not make the mistake of thinking we are to be perfect. Only God is. As fallible humans, we will stumble, and we need to get up every time after we fall again. And what’s more, we need to constantly seek to forgive those who we perceive have done us wrong.
I can be wrong and so can everybody else.
But Jesus is never wrong. He never misunderstands, and He never fails. He is the rock on which we can place our feet. His hands will never let go of our bicycle. If He says He won’t let go, he won’t let go. He won’t sprain his ankle, and neither will he look the other way when we need Him.
That’s why the Bible admonishes us: “Looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith.” * If we look at each other, the circumstances or our own strength, we will be disappointed. We do sometimes hurt others, even those closest to us. On such moments we walk around like a bull in a China shop. We think we know exactly why other people do what they do… but, do we really know?
Jesus said He is the way. Our trust should be in Him and not in anything else. It is a good idea to stop and wonder how Jesus thinks about what we do, say or think. How does He want me to solve this problem? And the only way to find out is by quietly listening to Him in the stillness of your own heart.
“A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another.” *
That would be the goal. Love and forgive each another. Be a support and let Jesus carry your pain and let Him heal you.
Faith may be simple, still living the life can be difficult. Forgiving those who have wronged us can be hard. Still, those are the lessons God wants to teach us while here on earth. But God is a good teacher, and he won’t throw you out of the class when you sometimes score low on your tests. He’ll just pick you up and encourages you to try again. He is not just the God of second chances, but He goes much further. He always seems to have hope for even the worst of His bungling children.