GUEST BLOGGER: Kevin Wilhelm
It’s never too late for most things - to learn to play an instrument; to run a marathon; to heal a broken relationship.
I have never taken lessons to play an instrument, but am certain I could perhaps play the tambourine or the triangle - with a little practice. My interest in running a marathon is minimal so that probably won’t get on the bucket list. But I have experienced God’s infinite grace as He has healed relationships, most notably with my twin brother.
I had just begun reading the Bible daily late in 2011. One day just before Christmas I was drawn to Matthew 18:35. I kept reading that verse over and over and over again.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
I was a novice in terms of biblical knowledge so the context of the entire chapter was not yet relevant to my life. All I knew (and God desired) was that I needed desperately to forgive my brother and to seek his forgiveness in return. Faith actually had driven us apart in a very painful way for more than 15 years. Faith brought us back together. I called him on Christmas Day to forgive him and ask for his forgiveness in return. This surprised him greatly but he was gracious and delighted.
We didn’t even need to identify the reasons to forgive. We both just wanted the hurt to stop. We turned to God rather than our own understanding.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
You see my brother had turned his life over to Christ a long time ago. I hadn’t. Lacking understanding I interpreted his frequent overtures as judgment when really all he ever wanted was for me to experience the same peace and joy that he had come to know. I learned after the fact how often he had prayed for me during our long separation. My brother never lost faith that I would be saved. He knew it was never too late.
Our lifetime is not even a blink of an eye for the Lord. Fifteen years seemed like forever to me. But God is patient – very, very patient. His love (and my brother’s) was clearly worth the wait.
Relationships are healed every minute of every hour of every day. We have to recognize the opportunity He provides for us. God never gives up on us. We certainly should never give up on each other, There simply is no such thing as too late.