“Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” Isaiah 38:17
It snowed last week. The forecasters are calling for temperatures in the 60s this week. If you don’t like the weather in Southeast Kansas now, just wait a few minutes.
Before my family and I moved to Fort Scott, we lived in a place known for sunny skies, low humidity, and mild temperatures. We were not used to snow an ice. Our first winter in Kansas was so cold, we pulled everything out of the freezer and huddled inside to warm up.
A couple of winters ago, it snowed for several days straight. So, I bought a snow shovel and learned to clear the sidewalks and driveway. Since I knew it would continue snowing, I thought I would be better off waiting until it stopped and remove all the snow at one time.
When I finally got around to shoveling snow, several inches had piled up. At first, the snow was easy to move – scrape, toss, scrape, toss, scrape, toss, the snow flew. Suddenly, I hit a snag. When I got through the top level of snow, scrape, toss became scrrraaaa…scrrraaaa… the snow shovel would not move. There were three inches of compacted solid ice underneath the top layer of snow. It would not budge. Super glue had nothing on the ice attached to my sidewalk.
I tried chipping away at the ice with the snow shovel. Didn’t work.
I tried chipping away at the ice with a steel digging shovel. Didn’t work.
I tried chipping away at the ice with a crowbar. Didn’t work. It bounced off the ice and hit me in the head.
I got the fifty-pound sledgehammer from the garage. Chip, chip, chip. A little ice gave way. Chip, chip, chip. A bit more came off. Three hours later, my arms ached, I was sweating, and I had made hardly any progress. The ice won. It finally melted in April.
Snow removal is much easier if dealt with before it settles, gets compressed, and turns into unmovable ice.
Unforgiveness can build up like ice and snow on my sidewalk. You can become frozen in unforgiveness by pretending the hurt doesn’t exist, and go on with life, but your heart will turn bitterly cold. The ice of unforgiveness will get a death grip and kill your relationships and your soul. If it happens, it takes work, a lot of work, to chip, chip, chip away at your anger and resentment.
The point is: Deal with the hurt and pain in your life now. Don’t let them settle any longer. Forgive instead of ignoring the pain. Work with God to remove the ice around your heart. Allow God to love you and help you love again.
In Isaiah 38:17, we read, “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” In other words, Isaiah is saying, “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such heartbreak.” God can release you from your unforgiveness and make you into a stronger person. If you let Him, the Lord Jesus Christ can bring you from bitter to better.
There is hope and healing in the name of Jesus. Reach out to Him today.
The forecast calls for colder weather.
James Collins is a pastor at First Southern Baptist Church. He can be reached through the website www.thepointis.net or by email at email@example.com.