Seek God’s forgiveness and peace over a broken relationship

02/04/2014 4:00 PM

02/03/2014 3:23 PM

D EAR BILLY GRAHAM: My mother and I always had a rocky relationship, but she died a few months ago, and I’m really having a hard time dealing with it. Why? — J.E.


Nothing is more final than death; when someone is taken from us, we know we’ll never again talk with them, or see their face, or simply sit quietly together enjoying each other’s company. Even if we weren’t particularly close, death always leaves an empty spot in our hearts.

I can’t help but wonder if you also are grieving out of regret. What I mean is this: At one time, you might have been able to overcome the hurts and misunderstandings of the past, and thus have grown closer to your mother. But now those opportunities are gone forever, and you know it’s too late to bring them back. Perhaps your letter will encourage others to try to be reconciled with someone they’ve hurt (or been hurt by). Jesus urged us to “be reconciled to your brother” (Matthew 5:24, NKJV).

Regrettably, it’s too late to be reconciled to your mother this side of eternity. But it’s not too late to be reconciled to God! We have offended him far more than we’ve offended any person — and yet he still loves us and wants to welcome us into his family forever. The Bible says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Don’t let your guilt over the past, or anything else, keep you from Christ. Instead, trust his promise of forgiveness and cleansing, and invite him to come into your life. Jesus’ promise is for you: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).

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