For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.
This passage is comforting as I move into advanced age, a time when I pray for forgiveness for decades of misdeeds, bad decisions, and delayed actions. By now, shouldn’t those actions or inactions have faded with a dimming brain—preferably disappeared? No, suddenly a regretted event can spring to mind like a jokester’s can of snakes.
Most childhood events could be dispelled with a sincere apology and conciliatory action. A high foul ball through a neighbor’s attic window was resolved by knocking on Miss Derby’s door, admitting my guilt, apologizing and raking her fall leaves. But another summer day, at age 16, a movie date drove me home where both my parents were on the front porch swing. I later accused them of observing me like “vultures.” Perhaps excusable as teenage angst, but a year later my dad died. It is comforting to know that God is “abounding in steadfast love….”
I’ve never sued anyone, never said “I’ll never speak to you again” and don’t hold grudges. No one owes me an apology. Mainly, I have been treated fairly by family, friends, and employers. I tend to forgive others on the spot or see a reason why they acted as they did. Not so when I view my own actions.
The difficulty is to “call” upon God—to honestly confess my sins and ask for forgiveness. In strengthened belief, maybe those hurtful words to family members, promises not kept, or instances when people needing a visit/call/care were ignored can be let go like balloons loosed to the blue sky.
Support me with your grace to feel your forgiveness for past transgressions, that I may move from the past into the future. Amen.