Esau ran to meet Jacob, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept….Then Esau said, “Let us journey on our way, and I will go alongside you.” Genesis 33:4 & 12
As Esau marched toward Jacob with four hundred armed men, Jacob must have feared for his life and the safety of his family. After having dealt so treacherously with his brother Esau, by cunningly obtaining his birthright and stealing his blessing, Jacob knew he deserved nothing more than his brother’s wrath. After years of estrangement, Jacob met Esau on the fields of the Jordan Valley—to be embraced and kissed by his brother must have seemed nothing short of miraculous.
There is something about the passage of time and the richness of God’s blessing that can heal even the deepest of wounds. Esau had been injured by his younger brother, but during the years that followed God had generously blessed Esau. With enough time and with adequate recognition of God’s goodness to us, how can we hang on to old grudges? If God blesses and forgives sinners like us, how can we withhold our blessing and forgiveness of others? Because of all the grace and mercy Esau received from God, he could not help but offer the same grace and mercy to his brother Jacob. Forgiveness is a gift we can give, because it is a gift we have received.
What old injury or lingering grudge do you need to forgive and forget?
Lord, You have blessed me so abundantly and for such a long time—and I know I deserve none of it. If I, as undeserving as I am, have been blessed and forgiven by You, how can I withhold those gifts from others? I should not, but I do. Grant me the courage and the resolve to rise above past injuries and current estrangements, to offer the love, mercy, and forgiveness You have so willingly offered me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.