China | March 10

The Power of Forgiveness

Lin

Lin* crossed her arms and glared at her husband. The anger inside her burned too hot to let this fight go. As a lawyer in China, Lin was used to fighting for what she thought was right, even in her family. Life was about power and strength and being right.

But she felt powerless to make her husband love her the way she wanted him to. What good are success and power and money and strength if there’s no love? she asked herself.

Defeat

Lin’s marriage ended in divorce, but the anger against her husband only grew stronger. It’s his fault our marriage failed, she thought. He’s ruined my life; I hate him! But deep in her heart she knew that her own anger and demands had made their marriage miserable.

Lin returned home to her silent apartment. Her husband was gone, and her son was away at school. She was alone. Alone. Her anger again threatened to overwhelm her. She slumped into a chair, exhausted.

A New Beginning

A friend invited Lin over one day. Lin usually didn’t accept such invitations, but she needed to get away from the office, to relax a bit. So she went. The mood was peaceful and warm, so different from the atmosphere in her home and office. Young people greeted her warmly and seemed genuinely interested in her. Something is different about these young people, she thought. Is it just good manners? They seem to care—to love—one another. What makes them so different? Lin joined the conversation and really enjoyed it. When one of the young people invited her to attend a meeting the next Friday evening at a little Adventist church, she agreed.

She found the little church off a busy street in the large city and joined the young people in a small auditorium on the second floor. The friendly greetings of those around her warmed her heart. As the meeting began, the young people sang heartily. Lin didn’t know the songs, but the messages they portrayed gave her food for thought. Then a young pastor spoke fervently of the love of God.

Lin had never heard such words before. She felt the cold and harshness drain from her body and warmth and relaxation flow in. She thought about how she had treated people, how she thought she knew so much and had accomplished so much in her life. Suddenly she realized that there existed a whole world of information she didn’t know about. She had so much to learn, but best of all, she was willing to be taught.

Finding God’s Power

Lin returned to the Friday night meeting the next week and began attending church on Sabbath as well. She felt a power in the church that she hadn’t found in any courtroom. It wasn’t the power of being right or arguing a case; it was the power of love—and forgiveness. She realized that she needed to forgive others, but even more important, she needed God’s forgiveness in her own life.

Hatred had weighed her down for so long. But as she took her first steps toward God, she felt peace and lightness and joy. She asked Jesus for forgiveness, and He freely gave it. She realized that she must forgive herself and her husband for the anger and hatred that had destroyed their marriage. As she prayed, her heartbeat grew calm, and her breathing was easier.

Lin was amazed at the changes in her life, and others noticed them as well. In place of her impatience God gave peace; in place of her anger He gave joy. And when others asked what had happened, she told them, “I’ve met Jesus. Come to church with me and see for yourself!”

Sharing God’s Forgiveness

Lin invited her friends, her son, and a nephew to attend the Friday evening worship with her. Her son now attends church with her when he is home from school.

Lin began preparing for baptism. She shed many tears as she realized the power of God’s love and forgiveness for her. Her discoveries brought joy and healing.

Lin wants to help others know that happiness isn’t about power or money or being right; happiness is a gift from God. She wants to share God’s love and forgiveness with her ex-husband and her fellow lawyers, so they will know the peace she has found. “My prayer is to reflect God’s image in my life and change my heart to the heart of Jesus,” she says.

Our mission offerings help build up the church in China. Thank you for giving so that others can experience the power of forgiveness and hope in Jesus. 

* Not her real name

© 2012-13 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. All rights reserved. www.adventistmission.org | Sitemap | Report a problem