No More Egg Rolls
Lately thoughts from my past flutter through my mind like a moth. These thoughts show up in the most unexpected places; while I reach for a vegetable at the grocery store, when I'm washing dishes or as I'm sitting down to a meal.
The other day I bit into an egg roll and I was reminded of a time when I made my first batch of homemade egg rolls. I was just 14. I made a large batch of egg rolls and set them on the table for dinner. A group of fellows sat at our table talking. First they snuck a sample and before dinner was served, the appetizer I worked so hard on was gone. They deprived me of the opportunity to eat just one. I was mad. In fact, I was mad for a long time. I said, "I will never make egg rolls again." And, I never have.
This memory was triggered in my mind when I bit into a store bought egg role the other day. Immediate I was annoyed and nearly spilled the story out at the family table again, like so many times before. But this time the Holy Spirit asked me to FORGIVE those fellows. This was such clear direction in my heart that I immediately blurted out, "I forgive those guys for eating all of my egg rolls!" I think I surprised my husband and my kids. I continued, "The enemy has been bugging me with that stupid egg roll story for years. Right now I choose to forgive them and I will not speak of that story again."
The Holy Spirit reminded me of what Jesus said to Peter.
Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21 (NKJV)
Basically Jesus said, "Stop Counting." Right there I forgave those fellows for eating all my egg rolls. Wow, I felt so good. You know I carried that egg roll story around like heavy baggage. Suddenly I was released from that burden. I realized that I was carrying more un-forgiveness baggage and that I was tired of carrying it around.
Un-forgiveness is like a moth. It flutters into your mind and hides itself in the dark corners. We ignore those moths for a long time. Then someone or some situation comes along and turns on a light in that part of our mind. We see that dirty moth fluttering around the light. Our response is to curse that moth or to tell that terrible story again. This is bitterness.
The Lord showed me other moths of un-forgiveness. I made a conscious effort to swat those old bugs. Not long after the egg roll experience, I made my first angel food cake. I worked hard on that cake. I remember peering through the oven door and watching it grow tall and beautiful. I was so proud of my first angel food cake. I heard the door to our house close and in walked my brother Paul. I saw him breathe in the cake aroma. It was pleasant to see him enjoy the smell. I could hear his tummy growling. I gave him a stern warning, "I'm making an angel food cake. Please don't bump around the house. And don't open the oven door because the cake will fall." Then I headed down the hall to the restroom. As I walked down the hall I heard the door slamming behind him as he ran for dear life. I returned to the kitchen with quick, soft steps. I looked at my cake through the oven door. The cake had fallen flat. I remember sitting down in front of the oven and having a good cry.
In my anger I found him and chewed him out. I told him, "This is the last time I will make an angel food cake!" As years went by though my love for angel food cake encouraged me to make more. But every time I made angel food cake I thought of Paul and that annoying memory. You know I even became fond of that memory. It was a moth that looked like a butterfly in the shadows. I treated it like a good memory.
That annoying, fond memory of Paul's fluttered in my mind. But the Lord showed me that this was un-forgiveness. Right away I forgave my brother Paul and I was set free from this old memory. Oh, let me tell you, that angel food cake was the best I have eaten. It tasted so good I could have eaten the whole thing. The sweetness was mixed with freedom from un-forgiveness. Forgiveness allows God to restore us and to give back to us what we have lost.
How about you? Do you have moths of un-forgiveness in your heart? Have you dressed up some of your moths to look like butterflies or fond memories? If you want to be free today, simply say, "Jesus I need to forgive that person. That situation is a dirty bug that I need to swat. Jesus, help me to forgive them." He will set you free too.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)