But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. Genesis 33:4
What an awesome sight of restoration! Jacob expected a sword in his face by his brother Esau. Jacob had tricked his brother out of his birthright (his stake in the will). Esau was furious at the time. The powerful hunter could have probably killed Jacob with a single blow.
Jacob, scared for his life (he was pretty smart), and at the advice of his mother who skeemed up the whole plan, runs away. Now years later, Jacob decides it is time to go home.
Instead of receiving the punishment he deserved, Jacob finds Esau eagerly waiting for him with open arms. Now, that's grace!
That's the way it is with God and us. We are sinners, deserving of Hell. God, accepts us as we are, wraps His arms around us, and welcomes us to His home! As Jacob did, we must be willing to return home, but then God meets us half way. Actually, we take one step...and God takes all the rest!
Perhaps this story of restoration reminds you that there is someone you need to forgive and accept today. Maybe someone has hurt you like Jacob hurt Esau. Perhaps someone has crossed the line with you. You said you'd get even. You promised to never forgive. But, when you recognize all God has done for you; when you realize that Esau welcomed Jacob, you know, deep down in your heart that you need to let go of your anger, and, like Esau, open your heart and arms to accept the one you used to love.
Part of maturing as a Christian is to be willing to forgive. If we are to be like Christ...there really is no other way!
For more of my thoughts, check out my personal blog at http://www.ronedmondson.com
where I write on issues such as marriage, parenting, church and leadership.
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