What She Said! Part 2: You Are Forgiven
By Elizabeth Turnage, Guest Writer
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace… -Ephesians 1:7, NIV
One day, in the waiting room of my Dad’s oncologist, I happened to sit next to an (annoying) angel. The very word angel in the Greek indicates a messenger, and this unlikely angel had a message from God for me and my Dad.
My Dad, who was now immobilized by tumors in his hips, was sitting in a wheelchair facing me. He chose this particular time and place to reveal a crucial piece of information he had previously withheld: his oral chemo pill was no longer defeating cancer from the prostate, and he had stopped all treatment.
At that moment, I felt undone by rage at my powerlessness to help my Dad, so I left my chair and walked to the edge of the crowded waiting room in an effort to calm myself. When I returned, I said quietly to my Dad, “You did not tell me the truth when I asked. You told me you were ‘tiptop.’”
He began to make excuses, to explain that he was only thinking of me and the burden I was carrying. I cut him off: “You should have told me.”
At this point, the angel entered the story. A sturdy, middle-aged woman, she sat stuffed in the pleather chair connected to mine. Suddenly I felt a pat on my shoulder and heard her speak in a rough, country voice, “It’ll be okay.”
She continued, “Just so long as you know where you’re going, it’s all okay.”
I nodded and looked pointedly at my Dad, who frequently fought me on this point. I still wasn’t sure if he was a Christian
She repeated her message, “Just so long as you know you’re saved. Jesus makes it all okay.”
My Dad turned back to me and repeated his apology. “I’m sorry.” No excuses this time.
I still couldn’t look him in the eye. I said, “It’s okay. You’re forgiven. I just wish you had told me.”
The angel in the waiting room was right, even if I wasn’t eager at first to hear her message. That day, both my Dad and I needed the comforting knowledge of Ephesians 1:7, the knowledge that Jesus shed actual blood so that we might be forgiven.
I needed forgiveness for my unkindness to my Dad. Dad needed a Savior to take the burden of guilt he had carried over a lifetime of unconfessed sin. As the angel had assured us, it would all be “okay” if we believed Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for us.
Precious Lord Jesus, thank you for shedding Your blood for us, for bearing God’s wrath on my behalf. Thank you for lifting the burden of our guilt from us. Help us to live and love in the freedom of Your forgiveness. Amen.
Listen to “Forgiveness” by Matthew West.
For Reflection: In what ways do you and/or your loved one need to know forgiveness in this season?
©2019 Elizabeth Reynolds Turnage Please do not reprint without permission from the author.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elizabeth Turnage, writer, story coach, teacher, and the founder of Living Story ministries (www.elizabethturnage.com). She is passionate about helping people learn, live, and love in God’s story of grace. A blogger and the author of three Bible studies published by P&R Publishing, she is a popular conference and retreat speaker. Elizabeth is married to Kip Turnage and they have four adult children, plus three added by marriage. You can listen to an interview with Elizabeth at MARKINC.org.
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