|This beautiful lap robe was made by our daughter-in-law and provides a "covering over" Mom appreciates very much!|
Last night's reading included an account of Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japeth. Noah had gotten drunk and was lying on the ground unclothed. Ham saw him, and hurried to tell his brothers all about it. Shem and Japeth took a blanket, held it between them, then walked backward to cover their father so they would not see his shame.
When Noah woke up and figured out what had happened, guess which of his sons received his blessings and which one was cursed?
I'd read this Bible story before without applying it to my own life in any way, but last night I remembered the passage that says, "Love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8). I thought with discomfort of how, when my mother hurts my feelings, or does something embarrassing or rude, that I call my daughter to vent, or tell my husband all about it. I could help them to respect my mom more by covering over her wrongdoings and disease-related behaviors, but I want sympathy. The truth of the matter is this: we don't need human sympathy when others mistreat us, we need to partake of the Lord's solace.
This morning as I brought my list of hurts to the Lord, it was as though I heard Him say, "Are you going to allow your mother’s sins against you to corrupt your relationship with Me and thus forfeit your own well-being, or are you going to partake of My forgiveness toward you and then extend that grace to your mother?"
Well, when He puts it that way, of COURSE I'm going to choose to say "I forgive..." but the Lord has to make it real. We aren't able to get at the recesses of our own sin-stained hearts, but we can say the words--again and again, as necessary, "Lord thank You for forgiving me, for Your sake I forgive these others who have hurt me..."
It is blessed to cover over the wrongdoings of another person. When we turn to other human beings for sympathy and support ahead of crying out to the Lord, we not only display a lack of trust in God to take action on our behalf, we also risk causing harm to relationships. I've had to ask forgiveness today for damaging my daughter's perceptions of her grandmother by complaining about details of caregiving that my daughter did not need to know.
God really likes it when we cover over the sins of another person, forgive, and bring our aching hearts directly to Him with no stops along the way. He is able to provide the solace and help we need.