Every Farm needs animals, right? While we aren’t ready to purchase cattle, a donkey, goats or any of the other farm animals we will eventually have, I couldn’t resist these ducklings. We had ducklings when we lived on Signal Mountain. They were so much fun to raise! We had Peking ducks- the kids loved holding them and they were so friendly. We trained our cats and dogs to get along with them too. They followed us around the yard and especially enjoyed swimming in the lake. Unfortunately, we had some neighbors who were prejudice against our Peking ducks. That’s right- they called them “trash” ducks and went as far as shooting them right in front of my kids, my husband, and myself one evening while we were sitting on our dock. It was horrific. My kids were devastated. I was outraged and so hurt for my kids. I spent many evenings praying with our youngest child, trying my best to teach him about forgiveness and hoping he wouldn’t become bitter over the incident. If I’m honest, I had to pray a lot and remind myself about forgiveness too. We studied these together:
- Mark 11:25 (NIV)And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
- Matthew 6:15 (NIV)But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
- Matthew 6:14 (NIV)For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
- Colossians 3:13 (NIV)Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
- Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Forgiveness is a powerful thing! It sets you free from the anger and bitterness that unforgiveness can hold over your life. The story behind the song “Forgiveness” by Matthew West spoke volumes to my heart. In this life, we can be hurt by the closest people to our hearts and even complete strangers. It’s what we do with that hurt that we can change if we just ask God to help us. We certainly can’t do it on our own! What a powerful testimony this mother has- what a tremendous inspiration her story of forgiveness is! There is such freedom and redemption in forgiving someone- even when they don’t apologize. How awesome is it that God, in HIS great mercy, can heal the hurt in our lives and help us to forgive even the one who isn’t sorry!
Our ducks at the lake did not survive. But our hearts did. We did forgive those neighbors. We prayed for them every night for the longest time- that they would know God’s love and forgiveness and that they would be overcome with love for all of God’s creatures.
And what about the new ducklings? For now they are living on our back porch during the warmer days and, much to my husbands dismay, in the living room at night. When they are bigger we will move them to the farm.