Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Beauty of Reconciliation

(The following is the devotion I wrote this week called a "Joyvotion."
If you want to receive Joyvotions in your email, just let me know at robbieiobst at hotmail dot com.)

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Last weekend John and Noah and I flew to California for my stepdaughter’s wedding. What an incredible time we had. I love weddings anyway, but this one was so special. And gorgeous. We went to a park right beside a beach on a 72 degrees day. Sarah, the bride, looked stunning as did my other stepdaughters, Marriah and Hannah. John and Noah wore matching ties and socks and as they each said, repeatedly, “I make this look good.”

But the real joy of the weekend was in the feeling of reconciliation. John has had a rocky relationship with his daughters and I have prayed for total reconciliation with them for years. Two years ago when John had a horrible motorcycle accident, healing began. The three girls came to see John in the hospital and beginning steps were made.

In the last few months, because of God’s grace, John’s ex-wife, Annie, and I have become friends. This has not always been the case. But God can change things. He can reconcile us to each other, just as He reconciled all of us to Him through Jesus on the cross.

The culmination of years of prayer, God’s grace, His power of reconciliation and the choice to forgive each other and yield to His way was evident in the way we all related to each other. The words Step and Ex had no power. We were just family.

I am so grateful to God for what has happened and what will continue to happen. I hope this encourages you to not stop hoping for reconciliation where it just hasn’t happened. In Los Angeles this past weekend, the work of God was evident in my heart and what I saw. There were a couple of times I almost burst with gratitude to Him.

I think God got even bigger for me this weekend. I love Him so, but I will never comprehend just how powerful and loving He is. Before I left Colorado, I emailed a few friends and asked them to pray. During my time there, I got a text from one of those ladies saying “I pray your breath will be taken away by the beauty of God’s redemption.”

It was.

The beauty of His redemption through reconciliation is a painting with colorful strokes of grace and joy and possibility. If you are praying for someone’s reconciliation with God or with another person, don’t stop. It CAN happen. Anything is possible with Him.


denise said...

I was just thinking that if that person ever tried to talk to me again, I'd walk away. Not to be mean--mind you--but because her words and manner with me are so hurtful. Thanks for the reminder that the situation isn't hopeless.

Jan Parrish said...

So beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. What a testimony!

Diane Marie Shaw said...

How beautiful was your comment: "We were just family."
Your prayers and diligence made that possible.

Robbie Iobst said...

Denise, I'm a little confused. "That person." Are you talking about someone in your life?

Jan, thank you, friend! And thank you for sharing your own stories of reconciliation.

Diane, Amen! With God, all is possible!

denise said...

Robbie, I think my comment got cut off. The original was longer. I had some troubles posting it, and somehow, the beginning is missing. I just reread it and didn't understand it either. :D Needless to say, there is a person I've had struggles with, don't talk to, and I don't know what the right response is if they tried to talk to me again. Your post reminded me of the possibility of forgiveness even if it feels impossible.