Sunday, December 22, 2013
I remember the first time I tasted Vanilla. My mom used to bake with us often, and the sweet aroma that floated from the bottle when the cover was removed was tempting. We always begged to taste it, but mom would say no. "You won't like it"
Being young, we thought that was crazy. How could something that smelled so sweet and delicious taste bad?
One day, she relented. She poured some in a teaspoon, and had us dip our fingers in the dark, sweet, goodness. We put our fingers in our mouth, and looks of disgust spread across our faces. Mama was right...of course.
Whenever I think about the bitterness of Vanilla, I think of life, and anger, and forgiveness.
I have been asked how I forgive the pain in my past. How I move on, and how I let go.
It's because at one point...I didn't.
For ten years, I kept a secret to myself. Keeping the secret was the first time I remember lying.
I held in frustration and confusion, and gained severe anxiety..attempting to protect others from it. When things finally came to light, I didn't forgive.
Because vengeance, and anger, and hatred, and bitter feelings are easier. Because that is what comes naturally to our fleshly, worldly self. We are in the world, and the world says to hold onto that anger, and to let it feed you. The idea of anger, and bitter feelings was sweet smelling, and I thought it would be good. I thought that drinking from it's sweet darkness was going to give me the relief I needed...but once it touched my tongue, I knew that would never be the case.
But I didn't leave it. I kept going back to that sweet aroma...hoping that maybe the next time I tried it, it would taste better. It never is.
And when I finally decided that there must be a better way, that something has to help relieve that anger and frustration..I 'stumbled' across Ephesians 4:31-32
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with ever form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, even as God, in Christ forgave you.
And you wonder how you let it all go.
Forgiveness is less like vanilla, and more like the cupcakes. They take time to mix up, they take time to bake, but when they are finally finished, and you sink your teeth into that sweet goodness, it's delicious, and it was worth the effort that you put into it in the first place.
Sometimes, the anger comes back, and I let the bitterness take over...but I'm quickly reminded that it isn't worth it.
God forgives the dirtiness in me. I have sin too. I have hurt people too. Yet God still loves.
Though I am unworthy, He still loves me.
I am not above anybody else. I don't deserve forgiveness more than anybody else. My sin isn't less ugly then anybody else. Why should I judge someone, and have bitter feelings toward someone, just because they sin differently then I do.
So, let it go. Forgive. Taste the sweetness that it brings.
Secured tightly in His grip,