Not very long ago, I was going through a very painful time in my life. It was an open season of adversity, separation, scarcity, you name it. Everything that could go wrong in my life was going wrong and of course humans were at the source of it. However, what was meant to wreak havoc in my life was actually a platform that God used to get my attention. He did not cause those painful things to happen to me but, He took advantage of the situation to draw me closer to Him so He can teach me the things I needed to know to be able to have a secured life in Him.

It was one day in my place of prayer and studying the word of God that He started to teach me about LOVE and somehow, He began to remind me that in 1998, at 18 years old when I was doing my confirmation at the Bethel Methodist Church in Takoradi, Ghana, the scripture I recited was 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NIV:

“If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

The Lord will also remind me that in 2013, my now ex-husband’s father, who is now deceased, was about to leave me after his visit to the USA, he read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to me and asked me to wrap it around my life like a blanket. I had so much love and respect for that man, a gentle and humble soul he was.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

I didn’t know where the Holy Spirit was going with all these memories but then I heard Him say to me clearly and distinctly, “You want to see my heart? Forgive her”. I was like “who?” Then He mentioned the name of the person I was to forgive as clear as day. Honestly that person was to be buried in 2 days of that encounter I was having. The Holy Spirit didn’t stop there, He asked me to forgive everyone that was connected to my pain and pray for them. I broke down and I cried a cry that I have never cried in my life. My spirit was crying, my soul was crying, my whole being was crying. It was more than an hour but it seemed as if I was crying for a whole year. In my tears I was asking the Holy Spirit why I have to forgive them for everything they have done to me and the pain they have caused me which He clearly knows about. I told it was unfair for me to forgive them and where is my justice? Then He said to me, “you said you want to see my heart and my love right? Well, that’s my heart and what my love looks like. Loving the unlovable and forgiving the ones who caused you so much sorrow. Just like I had to forgive the world when I was on the cross.”

I had no comeback argument after that so through my tears, I started shouting each person’s name and saying out loud, “I forgive you”. He then asked me to pray for their wellbeing, and I unwillingly did. I could see God smiling at me when I was done and He left me alone. I deep sleep fell on me instantly and I woke up with a different heart. I’m not the type who can even nap so that was quite strange to sleep so deeply in the middle of the day. After that encounter, there were so many times I purposely wanted to find a reason to hate or dislike these people again but immediately, my heart will be filled with compassion towards them. I will try to re-play all the events and things I endured because of them so I can pray destructively towards them, but, it was as if someone was controlling my heart and it would flip my words and prayer into one of compassion towards them. God had done a thing to my heart to ensure it doesn’t slide back into the old heart again.

I shared this with you to let you know that the number one characteristic of God is LOVE. If you know nothing about God, just know that He is LOVE. Anytime you decide to embark on a journey with God, the first thing He will re-configure in your life is your heart condition. You cannot fully walk in the power of God if you do not have love and understand His heart. To be able to unconditionally love people, irrespective of who they are or what they have done to you or will do to you in the future, is a special grace only God gives. The first fruit you will bear when you live according to the life of the Holy Spirit is the fruit of LOVE. So, if you’re not experiencing this LOVE, then go back to your place of prayer and intimacy and allow God to work on your heart. You cannot love God and hate people – that is not a fruit of His spirit.

I pray for you this week that the Lord will circumcise your heart as He did mine. May He take out the stony heart and give you a heart of flesh. I pray that the Lord will take you through your own process to rid you of every pain and bitterness and set your heart right with Him. I pray that compassion will be the guiding light of your heart daily. I declare it is so and so it is in Jesus’ name. AMEN!


Lady Abena.