Dear Ones,
 My question today is: When have you seen an example of forgiveness at great cost to the one wounded? 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
A verse from the Bible that is not often quoted and may seem puzzling to some is found in Phil 1:29 (NRSV), “For He has graciously granted to you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but also suffering for Him as well.” Suffering is not something we are exempt from simply because we are a believer. In fact, we are to consider it a privilege and told to stand firm and fearless at such times. In fact, we can be strengthened in our faith if we keep our eyes on the Lord. God may use what we are going through to serve as an example for others and can bring glory to Him. Paul could speak from experience for he endured much suffering for the Lord and forgave those who gave him much grief, imprisoned him, beat him etc.

Today I also read a devotional that just gave me goosebumps as I read it, for it was such an example of forgiveness in intense suffering. Ann Spangler writes of what happened in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania at the Amish school. You probably all remember the incident when Charles Roberts IV killed 5 young students and himself. He left a suicide note expressing his anger at God because his infant daughter died: it would seem he wanted to take it out on young school girls. He let all the boys go but had the girls ages 6 to 13 lie face down on the floor as he tied their ankles with wire and plastic ties. One girl asked to be shot first, hoping he would spare the other ones but he went on to shoot 5 of them before himself. There was blood splattered on all desks and bullet holes and glass everywhere.  Think of the sorrow of those parents who kissed their children good by that morning, never realizing they would not see them alive again. But instead of becoming bitter or seeking vengeance they joined as a community and showed grace and forgiveness. One mom even attended the shooter’s funeral and reached out to his family. She also sent meals and flowers to his widow. It’s hard to even fathom such courage and grace and yet only the Lord can give that.

What have we experienced that was devasting and tempted us to get bitter or desired to get even? May this example of this loving community cause us to remember to forgive at all cost because Jesus paid the price for us.
Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to give you a forgiving heart no matter what the cost. 
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy