Today’s Scripture: As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalms 103:12

A childhood accident caused poet Elizabeth Barrett to lead a life of semi-invalidism before she married Robert Browning in 1846. In her youth, Elizabeth had been watched over by her tyrannical father. When she and Robert were married, their wedding was held in secret because of her father’s disapproval.

After the wedding the Browning’s sailed for Italy, where they lived for the rest of their lives. But even though her parents had disowned her, Elizabeth never gave up on the relationship.

Almost weekly she wrote them letters. Not once did they reply. After 10 years, she received a large box in the mail. Inside, Elizabeth found all her letters; not one had been opened. Today those letters are among the most beautiful in classical English literature. Had her parents only read a few of them, their relationship with Elizabeth might have been restored.

Although this story has a heartrending ending, it shows that good can prevail even if initially it is rejected. This story could have been much more beautiful had her parents forgiven their daughter.

Perhaps someone has irritated you lately. It could be that a close friend said or did something you find personally frustrating. It could be that it has been hard for you to forgive that person. And your lack of forgiveness could be keeping you from being as close to God as you can be.

Whatever the situation, remember this. God is calling you to forgiveness. He wants you to let go of your pride and allow the grace of God to flow through you to others. Why don’t you practice your forgiveness on someone today?

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder