Sometimes when God speaks to me,
it isn’t with just words.
A few years ago, God spoke to me about something,
and I have tried to put it into words
in order to share it.
~ ~ ~
I invite you to join me for this Bible Devotion.
One day many years ago, God nudged me to think like a little child. Then he showed me a nickel in my mind.
God told me that the nickel was my nickel. Next, he asked me to describe the nickel.
I said, “The nickel is big and shiny. And the nickel belongs to me.”
Then God showed me a dime in my mind. He said that he would trade me my nickel for his dime.
I realized that as an adult, I would say yes. But God had told me to think like a little child. I knew that if I was a little child, I would say no. After all, the dime is much smaller, and it is not as shiny as my nickel.
So I told God that I wanted the nickel.
Then God said, “If your loving heavenly Father, who you trust, asked you again to please trade the nickel for the dime, what would you do?”
“Hummmm. Well, if I trusted my heavenly Father, I would trade the nickel for the dime - even though it looks to me like the nickel is a much better choice.”
That experience with God has helped me to trust God more in my life. Often, it has helped me to successfully push my human reasoning aside and make a firm choice to stand in faith during difficult times.
That story can apply to many situations and circumstances in life.I pray that God will use that story to bless you in many ways.
The main focus of the story for me in my life, has been concerning the subject of forgiveness.
When talking about that experience in the
light of the subject of forgiveness - the point of this story is that if you
have not dealt with all your unforgiveness issues, you have a nickel, a big,
shiny nickel. It represents the hurt and pain that you nurse against someone or
some people. The nickel is your unforgiveness. It is yours to keep if you so
desire. God will not force it out of your hand.
Insensitive people gave you that nickel.
It makes your flesh feel comfort ( an ungodly comfort) when you nurse your wounds by thinking about your nickel.
Yes, you would rather have had love coming from those people, but since they refused, you keep your nickel as a token of what they denied you. (It is like a consolation prize.)
How do you Handle
Unless we have been taught otherwise, when we are offended, we put up walls to protect us.
Then our heart becomes hardened.
The side effects of those walls are much greater than we realize.
God cares about the wounds that people have given you.
God deeply cares about the wounds that have been inflicted on you.
God has a righteous anger concerning the wounds that were inflicted on you.
God cares about you so much that he considers the injustice as having been done not just to you, but to him also.
I now draw your attention to the story of Saul in the book of Acts. The Bible story of Saul's conversion will help clarify my point.
Early in the book of Acts, we realize that Saul had purposed in his heart to destroy the church.
Acts 8:3 tells us that Saul entered the houses of Christians and dragged out the men and women and put them in prison.
Acts 9:1 tells us that Saul went to the high priest
with a plan to continue his mission. Then verse two in the AMP version states,
“And Saul requested of the high priest letters to the synagogues at Damascus authorizing Saul so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way of life as determined by faith in Jesus Christ that Saul might bring them bound with chains to Jerusalem.”
Next we find Saul on the road to Damascus.
As Saul neared Damascus, suddenly a brilliant light from heaven burst upon him.
He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you, Lord?”
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
That is an incredible story.
Someone might read those verses and try to say that Saul never persecuted Jesus – he only persecuted the people who followed Jesus.
But a careful and sincere look at the story shows that Jesus took personally the evil things that Saul had done - and the things that Saul was ready to do - to the followers of Jesus.
Jesus lets us know that in HIS mind - it was as though Saul was doing it to him.
Likewise, when someone does hurtful things to us, Jesus sees it as though those things were done to him.
God takes what was done to you personally. Yet he knows that only after you give him the offenses that have been done to you - can you be free.
God also knows what harboring those painful wounds will produce in your soul.
God is asking his children to give up
their inferior nickel
for a more valuable dime.
A dime is offered to us. The dime doesn’t look as shiny as the nickel, and it is much smaller than the nickel; therefore, the dime appears to be less valuable than the nickel.
At first glance, it doesn’t look like there is an advantage to the dime.
It might even appear that God wants to cheat us out of the one thing we got out of the cruelty – which was our nickel.
If we give up our nickel, we will have nothing to comfort ourselves with.
We want to keep alive our injustice.
Will we keep our nickel?
As adults, we realize that only a child will think that a nickel is more valuable than a dime.
As an adult we realize that God just
may have our best interest at heart. In fact, we are persuaded that God does have our best interest at heart.
Yes, as adult believers we know that the Bible tells us that God wants his children to be blessed. He says so in his Word.
There are many verses about this in the Bible but one of my favorites is:
“No good thing will he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.”
As I walk with God, I remind myself that God doesn’t want to keep me from any good gift.
God wants us to have blessings, and it gives him joy to give good things to us.
So if he is asking me to give my nickel – which represents my unforgiveness and woundedness - to him, then he will give me back something much better.
I am reminded that God cannot pour blessings into our hands if our fingers are tightly grasping our nickel.
God wants us to receive his blessings, but we have to let go of our wounds first.
Movies can give us a vision of HOPE.
God says that "without a vision the people perish." Sometimes seeing someone suffering because they can't let go helps us to let go.
One of my favorite movies is "Undercover Bridesmaid." It is a very entertaining chick flick. A side blessings is that it deals with unforgiveness in an inspiring way.
Also consider watching a movie called "Johnny" which deals with a dying boy or "New Hope" which deals with a teenager dealing with forgiveness.
If you are having trouble forgiving someone,
I invite you to visit our other teaching pages on
Learning to Forgive or Learning to Forgive audio
We also have a page on Prayer for your Enemies.
Devotion Copyright © 2006 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com
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