Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Letting Go

Reflections by the Sea ©
Betsy Ore Glass
April 14, 2010

Photo by Grahame Brown

Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. -Isaiah 55:7 NIV

Last week my granddaughter went fishing with her Dad on their new fishing boat. Equipped with her pink rod and reel for girls she was ready for the excitement the day would bring. Surprised, she caught the first fish of the day! It was too big for her dainty rod and reel as the rod bent over and almost broke. But when the fish was reeled in, it was too small to keep so they released it. This was repeated though out the day until she gave her little rod and reel such as workout that the handle eventually broke. No doubt this little fishing pro is ready for a “big girl” rod and reel! If you fish at all, you are aware of the”catch and release” program. If a fish is too small, it gently gets unhooked and is tossed back into the water which is the right thing to do.

A definition of releasing something is a form of surrender by giving something up, throwing it back, walking away or choosing not to be affected by it anymore. There are those times when we have all felt offended and carried offenses too long, Gods way is for us to let these offenders off the hook with merciful forgiveness. This is called to pardon someone or something. If we are doing the pardoning, we are called to be merciful and loving while forgiving. Isn’t that the way our Lord has treated us. We offend Him daily with our words, thoughts and actions but we know that He will show mercy and He pardons our sins when we come to Him in humble surrender.

St, Francis of Assisi, a patron saint in the Catholic Church from many years ago speaks of pardoning and living this way: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred ... let me sow love. Where there is injury ... pardon. Where there is doubt ... faith. Where there is despair ... hope. Where there is darkness ... light. Where there is sadness ... joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled ... as to console, to be understood ... as to understand; to be loved ... as to love, for It is in giving ... that we receive. It is in pardoning ... that we are pardoned, it is in dying ... that we are born to eternal life.”

These are good words to live by. In prayer, ask if there is someone you can “let off the hook” today with forgiveness and if there is someone that needs to let you off the hook. Then we can truly say that we are instruments of peace.

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