Updated: Feb 22
I was saddened to hear of the passing of a young banker, Jordan Thorsager, who was riding his motorbike before suddenly being struck by another driver who was being pursued by police.
I was saddened because this young man was only just beginning his life, but what truly inspired me was that his ‘strong Christian family’ explained to the media that they have forgiven the driver of the other vehicle. While the father is grieved about his loss and expressed how he never thought he would be burying his son, who was described as a man ‘full of love’, he said, ‘As much as I’ve lost a son … we don’t see the point in bitterness or anger. God knows our beginning, He knows our end.’ (9news.com.au)
In another story I read moments later, I heard about a 100-year-old Holocaust survivor, Zofija Kaczan, who was mugged and died a week later after succumbing to her injuries following the attack where she fell and hit her head. Zofija, who was a Christian, was reported as having prayed for the offender during her last week, despite her suffering.
‘Despite the pain and suffering that she was in for the last week of her life, she had the capacity to pray for her attacker before she died.’ (Premier.org.uk)
These two news stories reveal the power of God’s love, active and working in the believer’s heart, even through the most harrowing of circumstances. It is an inspiring witness of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ for all the world to see because the ‘normal’ response would be to feel anger and want to see justice or possibly revenge taken out on these two offenders. Would you blame them? Most wouldn’t, but that’s not what happened here.
Imagine how powerful this display of God’s grand love would be to the two perpetrators, their families, their friends, hospital staff, police and all those who were touched by these events. Imagine what they must be thinking about Christ’s love in such a painful time. What kind of lasting impact do you think this will have upon all those who witnessed God’s mercy on these two tangible occasions? It’s not just words of ‘Christian’ sentiments spouted during easy times, it’s an act of love during a time of gut-wrenching, painful agony.
It reminds me of the cross and how Jesus Himself displayed an incomprehensible magnitude of forgiveness when, despite His agony, said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’(Luke 23:34). He didn’t scream for justice or shout for revenge. He prayed for His persecutors and forgave them.
Is there anyone in your life who you are holding in unforgiveness? If we have unforgiveness in our hearts, we will inevitably be held hostage to its fruit, which is bitterness. A man who learns to forgive sets himself free. Praying for the well-being of those you hold ought against will help to soften your heart and release you from captivity. Bitterness leads to all kinds of physical illnesses and there cannot be peace reigning in our hearts while the root of bitterness exists. Unforgiveness cannot undo the past, nor can it unlock the future. True wholeness is found in letting it go.
Thank You Lord for these families and all those around the globe who are suffering right now in order to bring You glory. May You provide them with comfort and peace during their time of sadness.
All glory to our great God, the King of Israel!
- By Judah Ayling