Settling Stones

The stoning of Stephen is an overwhelming example of an individual responding just as Jesus did, in the face of suffering and persecution.  “While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’  Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’  When he had said this, he fell asleep.” – (Acts 7:59-60)  As Stephen was actively in the throes of being killed, he prayed for forgiveness for those who were murdering him.

Though I have never faced trial for my faith, nor have never had my life threatened for who I am in Christ, I have been spoken to harshly, and have had to make a choice as to how to respond in the moment.  When people speak to me angrily or with unkindness, I have come to a place where I am most often able to respond in the opposite spirit.  However, I recognize that I don’t necessarily pray right away for forgiveness.  Typically, I find that I am grateful to God that something gracious came out of my mouth, yet in order to do as Christ did, I ought to also release the offender from the offense, immediately.  Often, it is not until much later, that I realize that I am still carrying some sort of irritation about the offense, and have to stop and release that which should have been let go, hours earlier.  It is not an intentional carry, yet it is a burden that I take on, adding to a load I am not meant to tow.

As others lift up,Settling Stones

their stones set to throw;

help me to release,

the anger they sow.

For I can’t control,

what others will do;

yet I can let go,

give the reigns to You.

Help me to forgive,

the moment deeds done;

so I don’t carry,

battles You have won.

May my heart respond,

with Your heart of grace;

so they may soon know,

Your loving embrace.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us amazing examples in Your word of those who have gone before us and have forgiven others, as You ask us to forgive.  Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, who by His sacrifice and ultimate example of forgiveness and grace, made way for the Holy Spirit to come dwell in us, and empower us too, to extend the same forgiveness to others.  Forgive us for not listening to Your still small voice, or for holding onto grievances that You have asked us to lay down.  Help us to release wrongs against us – regardless of how great or small.  Lead us to love as You love, and to respond as You respond to all whom we encounter.  Let Your light be evident in all that we say and do.  May many come to know You as their Lord and Savior, through the grace that is given unto them.  Be glorified, our gracious God.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ.  – Ephesians 2:4-5

6 Comments

  1. “Typically, I find that I am grateful to God that something gracious came out of my mouth, yet in order to do as Christ did, I ought to also release the offender from the offense, immediately.”
    Yes, this is strange in form. I understand. Stephen came wholly in himself to surrender and filled by Spirit. Thus, his fate is sealed and his divinity complete. That is a wondrous contemplation as any may be.
    Blessings I pray come in abundance for we all.
    ~ Eric

  2. Shannon, I REALLY needed to hear this today. Especially this . . .”Help us to release wrongs against us – regardless of how great or small. Lead us to love as You love, and to respond as You respond to all whom we encounter.” Thank you for sharing. I’m just now beginning to read my friends’ blogs again after our tragedy in November. I will hopefully begin writing on my blog again soon. I have missed that so much. And I have missed reading you and the way God moves through your words. God bless you my friend, and thank you for allowing God to touch my heart through the words He gives you.

    • Steven,
      I am blessed in knowing that God could use my offering to be an encouragement to you. I cannot even begin to imagine all that you must be going through as you try to process all that has transpired… Praying for you all as the stones are released, and grace is given anew each day.

      • Thank you, my friend. We are still going through the valley, but God is in control and we are trusting Him more every day. I can’t tell you how much your prayers for us mean. They are getting us through the entire ordeal along with God.

  3. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.

    I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info.

    Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s