Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Privilege of Forgiveness

June 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

God’s leadings and dealings come to us in many ways. One of these is by dreams. Years ago, I was deeply hurt by some fellow Christians in the church I attended. Since I was young and naive in my Christian experience, I had this idea that Christians were practically perfect and “put them up on a pedestal.” When this situation occurred, my “Christian world” was badly shaken, and I was filled with bitterness and a sense of being betrayed. It was at this point that God gave me a dream that has stayed with me all my life.

In the dream, I found myself wandering somewhere along deserted city streets. It was night out–cold, windy, and starting to snow. I felt utterly alone, forsaken and confused. Looking down at my feet, I realized that I had no shoes on. Upon turning the corner and starting down another street, I saw a glow in the distance, like a large orb of light. As I stopped to gaze upon this phenomenon, it slowly moved toward me. I was scared, but in such despair that not even this awesome sight fully struck fear into my heart because I really didn’t care what happened to me. As the glow gradually came closer, I saw a Person in the midst of this shining orb.

Shivering with cold, I watched as this magnificent Person drew near. His beautiful long hair and flowing beard were white as snow. He bore Himself with kingly majesty and wore a royal blue robe of the most richest, deepest
hue and exquisite texture that I had ever seen. His eyes were piercing, and yet I detected such compassion and kindness in them. With one look, I knew that He saw all my inner agony and there was no need for any explanation. It was as if He beheld all that I was in the deepest part of me and loved me profoundly. As He came close to me, the glow that was around Him enfolded me in its radiance.

He beckoned me to sit and, turning, I saw a small stool behind me and hesitantly lowered myself into a sitting position. Then He Himself knelt, holding a pair of golden shoes in His hands. While He was putting on the first shoe, His eyes blazed into mine as He said, “Even as you forgive others and have mercy on them…” Then He began to put on the second shoe and finished His sentence with, “…even so will I forgive you and have mercy on you.” Immediately a sentence was burned into my mind which came out of the Word of God, “Having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” (Eph. 6:15)

No longer was I cold, as the warmth of His glorious presence and grace flooded me. All the while, in the background, a sweet angelic voice had been softly singing phrases from the song, “I Don’t Know About Tomorrow, But I Know Who Holds My Hand,” giving me the assurance that, although there were future conflicts to face, yet He was Lord of all. Suddenly the dream ended and I awoke instantly. I lay quietly for a time, bathed in the wonder of His love. In my heart, all bitterness and unforgiveness had shattered like broken glass, and I felt His amazing grace flowing through me, washing away my sin and healing my deep wounds.

This dream has been an inspiration to me throughout my life, and I have drawn from its goodness during other hurtful times. I know God was teaching me that no matter how “spiritual” people may seem, they are still human and make mistakes or cause unnecessary hurt. Jesus, alone–the perfect pattern of God’s true image–is the only one upon whom our focus should be set for life. Only He can enable us to truly forgive from the heart and “cover a
multitude of sins” with His love and grace; for as we have freely received His mercy and forgiveness, so should we freely give.

Sharon Wohlwend

Sharon lives with her husband Allen in central Illinois and celebrated 47 years of marriage in 2010. They have two daughters and three grandchildren. Sharon is actively involved in her church as prayer coordinator and keyboardist for the worship team. She also has a prophetic ministry in word, song, and inspirational writing, and loves to encourage God’s people.

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