Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
By Chris WittsThursday 17 Feb 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 3 minutes
Grandpa Jones was celebrating his 100th birthday and everybody complimented him on how athletic and well-preserved he appeared. “Gentlemen, I will tell you the secret of my success,” he cackled. “I have been in the open air day after day for some 75 years now.”
The celebrants were impressed and asked how he managed to keep up his rigorous fitness regime. “Well, you see, my wife and I were married 75 years ago. On our wedding night, we made a solemn pledge. Whenever we had a fight, the one who was proved wrong would go outside and take a walk.”
The lesson of the two friends
A story is told of two friends who one day were walking through the desert. At some point in their journey, they had a big argument. One friend slapped the other one in the face. The guy who got slapped was deeply hurt and offended, but without saying anything, he wrote in the sand, Today my best friend slapped me in the face.
They kept on walking until they found an oasis where they decided to take a bath. But the man who had been slapped got stuck in the quicksand and started drowning, but his friend saved him. After he recovered from the awful experience of near drowning, he carved on a stone: Today my best friend saved my life.
The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him: “After I hurt you, you wrote on the sand, and now you carve on a stone. Why?” The friend said: “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand where the winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone, where no wind can ever erase it”.
Writing our hurts in the sand
I like the story, because it made me think. Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your blessings in stone. After all, life Is too short to waste time hating anyone. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote:
Our treatment of others should never depend upon what they are, or upon what they do to us. It must be entirely controlled and governed by our view of them and of their condition … because God’s love does not depend upon anything that is in us, it is in spite of us.
And we read in the Bible in Colossians 3:13, “Put up with each other and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you.”
Forgive anyone—just as Christ has forgiven you.
Write your sorrows in sand and your blessings in stone. This phrase encourages us to make it a way of life. It’s fairly easy to understand. The things that upset us should be forgotten and the things that bring you joy and comfort should be remembered for as long as we can. If it were only that easy!—it isn’t, but it’s something we should strive to do.
You have perhaps seen or heard this definition of a true friend: A true friend is a person to whom you can pore out your heart, grain and chaff together, into his/her patient hands and know that he/she will faithfully and gently blow the chaff away.
In our relationships, if we take Jesus’ teachings—all of his teachings—to heart, then we will not seek an ‘either-or-outcome’. Jesus calls us to be reconciled, to forgive, to be gracious and loving—no matter what. This is far more difficult to do than to just try to get rid of the issue or to bury it and forget it. We’ll see this again in Part 2.
(To be continued in Hurts in the Sand – Part 2)