A childhood accident caused poet Elizabeth Barrett to lead a life of semi-invalidism before she married Robert Browning in 1846.

In her youth, Elizabeth had been watched over by her tyrannical father. When she and Robert were married, their wedding was held in secret because of her father’s disapproval.

After the wedding, the Brownings sailed for Italy, where they lived for the rest of their lives. Even though Elizabeth’s parents had disowned her, she never gave up on the relationship.

Almost weekly she wrote them letters. Not once did they reply. After 10 years, she received a large box in the mail. Inside, Elizabeth found all of her letters; not one had been opened. Today those letters are among the most beautiful in classical English literature. Had her parents only read a few of them their relationship with Elizabeth might have been restored. 

Although this story has a heartrending end, it shows us that good can prevail even if it is initially rejected. How much more beautiful this story might have been had the parents forgiven their daughter.

Perhaps someone has irritated you lately. It could be that a close friend said or did something you find personally frustrating. Maybe it has been hard for you to forgive that person. Your lack of forgiveness could be keeping you from being as close to God as you can be.

Whatever the situation, remember this: God is calling you to forgiveness. He wants you to let go of your pride and allow the grace of God to flow through you to others.

Why don’t you practice your forgiveness on someone today?

1 Tree + 3 Nails = 4 Given. – Author Unknown

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder