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The Water Lily

Several years ago I was blessed to have someone take two long Friday evenings to walk me through Neil Anderson’s Steps to Freedom in Christ, with three others gathered around us praying and interceding. It was an exhausting time as I faced a multitude of sins in my life that I did not want to admit so that I could renounce them and become free of them.

After the step of Forgiveness, during which I recalled all the people who had wounded me and how that wounding felt and then forgave each person for their sin against me, one of the intercessors described a picture that had come to her while she was praying. The picture was of a water lily—exquisite, pure white, beautiful—and how this now described me—accepted by God with joy.

It’s been a symbol to me of forgiveness ever since—of how God has forgiven me and for me to continue being a forgiving person. In my prayer room I have a mounted photograph of several water lilies in a pond and my custom is that when I come to it, I thank God for his forgiveness and renew my commitment to be forgiving.

I had actually forgotten the part of the picture that described the water lily as exquisite, pure white and beautiful until yesterday when a small piece of paper fluttered out of a Bible I seldom use. On that paper, the various pictures and messages the intercessors were given that night are written.

And so this morning as I came to the water lilies in my prayer time, I thanked God for his forgiveness and for how his forgiveness has made me pure, white and beautiful in his sight. And then, as I began to pray about forgiving others, it hit me. When I forgive someone, I am, in essence, making them pure, white and beautiful in my sight. Wow! Can I truly see those who have hurt me as pure, white and beautiful? It gives a whole new meaning to forgiveness; one that’s going to require some chewing on before the fit is comfortable.

God, when you forgive me, you make me pure and spotless in your eyes. I’m not sure I can do that to others. If I can’t, does that mean I haven’t truly forgiven? Can I wipe the stain away from my view of them so I see them as you see them when you forgive them? This is radical thinking for me, God. Please help me as I try to follow you in this.

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About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at debbiehaughland@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …