I met my wife-to-be during my first year as a French teacher at Walla Walls College. Princess, my Siamese cat wasn’t too impressed, but then who asks one’s cat permission to date? A few months into the semester, some friends of mine from Seattle invited my wife-to-be and I over for a few days. They didn’t invite my cat, however. Big mistake!
The night before we were to leave, I told Princess about my weekend plans, assuring her that she would be left in the care of my roommate and would be well cared for while I was away. I was feeding her at the time, and she resolutely stopped eating, stood up, turned around, and sat back down with her back to me and her tail swishing back and forth in displeasure.
I walked around and faced her again, but as soon as she saw my face, she turned her back on me again. I tried it several times with the same results! It was clear she was upset with me!
Princess was in the habit of sleeping on my bed at night, but that night she refused, and in the middle of the night, I was awakened by a foul smell! I turned the lights on to discover that Princess had used the foot of my bed as a litter box!
Princess must have forgiven me while we were away, because she was sure glad to see me when I got back. She wouldn’t stop purring and rubbing her head against my legs, and she made sure she kept me in sight all the time.
I suppose, in her eyes, it was a wonder she forgave me at all. From her perspective, the crime had been pretty heinous. After all, hadn’t I always brought her everywhere with me before? Even to see Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park? Hadn’t she traveled with me all over the United States? She must have felt really rejected that she couldn’t be part of my life in this activity.
How often don’t we, as humans, hold onto our hurts from the past? Just talking about events, ones that sometimes happened years earlier, makes our blood boil. The fact is that when we don’t forgive, we hurt ourselves more than the one who offended us. Is it worth it to hold onto grudges that will eventually make us sick? To keep ourselves locked up in our prison of unforgiveness?
The good news is, there IS a way out: To forgive the way Jesus forgave-“Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Col. 3:13 NIV) He loved us so much that He willingly died for our sins, and He can give us the same power to forgive those who have hurt us. Forgiveness is just one step away. Ask Jesus for His help, and He will empower you to be set free! “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36 NIV)
Imprisoned or set free. The choice is ours.
Going away for the weekend? Don’t tell my little Princess!
(To access the entire “My Little Princess” devotional series, please click here.)