Today's Favorite Verse: Alma 33:19-20
"Behold he was spoken of by Moses; yea, and behold a type was raised up in the wilderness, that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live.
But few understood the meaning of those things, and this because of the hardness of their hearts. But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them."
These verses are referring to Numbers 21:9 "And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."
In a recent Relief Society lesson the teacher asked us "When you are offended how do you respond and forgive?" I could not help but think of these verses. When the people of Israel were bitten by the firery serpent all they had to do was look up to the serpent of brass Moses raised on a pole and live. Yet some people couldn't do that because it was to simply. They didn't believe it could work. Instead they wanted to find another remedy and couldn't do the one thing asked. I can see how looking at a serpent could make you feel foolish. Realizing the brass serpent was a type for the Savior, I see this differently now. It's taken time to no longer feel foolish turning to Christ and letting him simply heal me.
Being offended can feel like being stung by a fiery serpent. It's very painful. Overtime I have learned that that pain never goes away if I turn to others to comfort me. I can become consumed with the matter the more I retell my side of a story to gain support. There is no peace to my soul even when the matter appears resolved. My mind can torment me at the perceived offense, unless I can forgive.
I don't know why it took me so long to realize the simpleness of the way of looking to the Lord. The resolution is immediate, when I let him carry what he already agreed to do for me. When I leave the matter into his hands, for I know his judgments are just, my heart finds comfort and peace. He is the only way I can look and live.
This is not wishful thinking, I know from experience the simpleness of the way. When the DNA results came back that my youngest son's daughter was not his, there was a brief flood of emotion from being deceived. But, immediately as a family my husband and I sat down with our son to discuss this shocking news. All of us had been wronged but we knew what we had to do was forgive them. We could see the Lord's mercy in protecting our hearts during the whole 18 months of thinking we had a grandchild. We could all honestly say we had done everything required of us at the time. We would not change a thing. We felt we had passed that test. But, right now the best thing to do was go away. Leave them alone. To fade from this child's memory and let her bond with her real father. We would leave justice to the Lord and it was a simply as saying those words.
As we sat and discussed our decision the spirit flooded our home. What a sweet spirit surrounded us. It is amazing how much damage can be given you and it doesn't matter. The Lord brings a peace that no revenge can ever offer. We could even laugh at ourselves for being naive, because joy filled our hearts and there was peace. I have seen this family in the store while shopping, and it always amazes my heart that I have no need to run or pretend I don't see them. I can go up to them and embrace them as friends. Forgiveness is the greatest miracle of all. That is how you look to Christ and live.
Day 307 Tami Fitzgerald Harris