"No one escapes life unscathed." I tell folks this all the time. Tradegy strikes, we make poor choices and the results live with us for years, we lie, cheat, steal, and hurt others as well as being hurt by them.
It's been one of those seasons where life has intense and painful moments. And I have spent months praying for blessing for the people that have hurt me and my family. And I have been praying to forgive and to be forgiven. Many times, this was an act of obedience to Jesus- as He has told us to forgive those who sin against us- just as He forgives our sins when we ask Him. So, out of obedience, I prayed.
I was surprised by peace the other day while praying. As I thought of these folks, I was reminded later in the day that I could pray blessing for them, and here's the kicker, without a shred of anger. There was just peace. Amazing. The very thing I prayed for them out of obedience was the very thing God blessed me with!
In a world where "choice" means folks can choose good or evil, there is also God who is always good and always there right when we need Him. As I learned about Him and His ways once again, obedience is its own reward but sometimes we get to experience joy and freedom and peace jusy by doing what He says to do.