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Get rid of your bitterness, hot tempers, anger, loud quarreling, cursing, and hatred. Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ. —Ephesians 4:31, 32, GW

I still remember the things that drove me to distance myself from my father, my earthly father. Now I wonder why I allowed that to happen.

The details do not matter. They are insignificant at this point.

There were things that happened long ago on both sides.

The point is that I let these things drive a wedge between us and lost contact for many years. It took building a relationship with my heavenly Father for me to learn I needed to rebuild my relationship with my earthly father.

God has a way of doing this, you see. He brings to light things that need to be repaired. And the best way to repair a broken relationship is through prayer.

I started talking with God about my relationship with my father a long time ago. I often prayed I could somehow be reunited with him so that I could apologize for anything I had done that contributed to the rift between us. I forgave my father in my heart for everything I felt he had done wrong. It was important for me to be able to ask for forgiveness by first apologizing for anything I had done. It took many years, but God, in His time, answered my prayer. I was able to apologize and asked if we could have a relationship once again.

Then I prayed for the chance to visit my father and to take a photograph with him. God answered that prayer too. I have learned through all this that the healing process begins with forgiveness. It was important for me to apologize for what I had done and to seek forgiveness for myself. When I asked God for His help, He sent me forgiveness and healing.

My heart is at peace. God, in His mercy, forgave me for my sins, and so I need to forgive others. There is no point in holding a grudge against someone else.

It only hurts you, not the other person.

Through my growing relationship with God, my relationships here on earth are also growing. We should remember that God loves each of us and sent Jesus to pay the price we owe. Our debt is paid, and He has forgiven us. Love one another, forgive one another, show mercy. After all, that’s what God has done for each of us.

Thank You, Lord, for showing us such mercy, forgiveness, and love!

Shannon J. Pigsley

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