The Morning Drive

Friday, November 6, 2020
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Psalm 88:9b – I call to you, O Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you. (NIV)

It was a chilly Monday morning. After two days of anger at a particular situation in the media, I was on my way to work. I'd be useless at my job as a church secretary with all this mess in my heart. I needed to spend some time in the sanctuary praying before going into the office, but the Lord reminded me that we could talk right then. So, we did.

The day before, the Sunday sermon had urged the congregation to feel compassion for people. Even though I didn't feel any compassion for "John Smith", much less love and forgiveness, I had to start somewhere. Thankfully, our Lord can do a lot in a short time, and I felt Him urging me on.

As I drove, I began to speak the words, "I forgive you, John Smith," even though I didn't mean it. The conversation went something like this: "Lord, I am doing this because I love You, not John Smith. Eventually, I will forgive John Smith, so that it doesn't jeopardize my relationship with You, Jesus. And, at the least, I will try to feel compassion for John Smith." I concluded with "God, I know that this isn't much, but it's the best I can do right now." That was followed by many more of "I forgive you, John Smith", mostly through gritted teeth.

When I thought that the matter was concluded, Jesus wasn't finished with me. He said, "Now it's time to forgive yourself."


Jesus said, "Yes. You allowed it." He made me laugh when He said, "You know, coulda, woulda, shoulda." Then I saw a mental movie — I don't know what else to call it — of all the things that I could have done over the last two days to reverse the situation. I shoulda taken charge of my environment, and I woulda if I had thought of it instead of drowning in my anger, and I coulda done it at any point in time. But, I did not. The end result: deep, dark anger and bitterness toward one of God's children.

After fifteen minutes of talking with the Lord, filled with thoughts, emotions, and mental pictures, a calmness filled my mind and body. I arrived safely at work, my anger gone, John Smith forgiven, myself forgiven, and a note to self about what to do if/when carnal thoughts return.

Romans 8:8 – Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (NIV)

Prayer: Lord, we pray that You would make our hearts alive and awake when our sinful nature takes over. Help us to turn to You quickly and confess our sins of anger, unforgiveness, or whatever is boiling over, especially if the grievance is an old one, and especially if we are "right to feel that way and everybody says so". Lord, make our minds, bodies, and souls fit places for the Holy Spirit to dwell. Thank You! We love You, Lord. Amen.

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About the author:

Judy Holmes <>
McComb, Mississippi, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing, Judy.

    Thanks, Judy. A needed topic for us all!

    GREAT sharing. Thanks for your personal story.

    Dear Judy,
    Thank you so much for these thoughts. May many “John Smiths” be forgiven today.

    Thank you for your devotional this morning. So timely this week.
    I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

    Thanks. Judy. A timely message, especially with the media. I quit watching any news programs, my remedy for what you described. It helps me maintain a more peaceful heart.

    Dear Judy,
    Thank you for sharing so honestly your feelings. We have all been there so we can relate to the difficulty of forgiveness. May many blessings come your way and your country have a peaceful resolution to your election.

    Such a good message for those of us living in the United States, not just today but always. I rant, mostly to myself, about the way the tv news and social media have taken over our lives, caused changes in our culture, etc. Those disturbing issues have caused me to turn off the television and mainly read about the news but even that is disturbing. Talking to the Lord is the best solution because we know he is in control.
    Thank you, Judy.

    Forgiving yourself is tough especially as you realize how badly you blew it!

    Hello Judy,
    I just wanted to say that I was blessed by your recent devotional in PresbyCan, The Morning Drive.

    Thanks for sharing your morning meditation

    Thank you for a blessing devotional. Return good for evil — or even for rudeness.
    For Jesus sake. Amen.

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