среда, 26 января 2011 г.

Times in a Day

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Mothers

BY: Karen R. Kilby
"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.
~Ephesians 4:26

The shrill cry of the alarm woke me from an uneasy sleep. Despite the softer greeting of the morning songbirds and the promise of sunshine glimmering through the curtains, I was reluctant to get out of bed.

"Duty calls," I muttered, knowing it was time to wake the kids for school. Making my way to the kitchen to start breakfast, I realized my disgruntled mood was the result of still being upset with my ten-year-old son, Michael, from the day before. When was he going to learn to obey me? And why did he make the same mistakes over and over? Nothing seemed to sink in! Glancing at the clock, I knew I'd better start making the rounds to be sure everyone was up.

As I opened the door to Michael's room, his tousled, curly head peeked from beneath the covers. With his oh-so-familiar grin, Michael said, "I'm sorry, Mom. I didn't mean to do it." Always before, his sweet smile had melted my heart. This time, I was determined to teach him a lesson he would not forget.

"Michael, you always say you're sorry. This time, I am not going to forgive you."

As I shut the door, satisfied that I'd followed through on my conviction, I caught a glimpse of his crestfallen face and the disbelief in his eyes.

Walking away, I could not erase the image of Michael's face. "How can you not forgive him?" the Lord whispered in my ear. "Don't you remember what I have said about forgiveness? 'If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, "I repent," forgive him'" (Luke 17:3-4). God's voice continued, "When you honor my word and obey me, you set the example for Michael."

"But Lord," I argued, "forgiving is not easy, especially when someone keeps on offending."

I stood there struggling with mixed emotions, but then admitted, "I don't like the way this anger is making me feel. Please take it away."

As I felt the feelings of hostility toward Michael slip away, I slowly turned around and headed back to his room. I knew I had to tell him that I forgave him and restore that familiar smile. I also knew I had to ask Michael to forgive me.


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