Last Sunday, August 19 , Anne Worts delivered a message on forgiveness. I thought
that I had worked through the many people I needed to forgive, but God brought new circumstances to the light. My list had several names of people I thought I had forgiven. That act of obedience in writing down the names and placing the paper in the basket was indeed like Anne described “lifting her arm to wave to the neighbour who had offended her”.
As the papers were put in the pail and lit, the smell of fire and smoke curling upwards was at first a pail with burning papers. However as we began to worship in song and I watched the smoke curl upwards I felt the Holy Spirit remind me of the Bible study I had done on the tabernacle in the wilderness. I remembered the golden alter of incense on which incense perpetually burned and the smoke was ever rising upwards. The ‘light bulb went on’ as I remembered the incense represented prayers offered up to God (Ps. 141:2, Rev. 5:8 & Rev. 8:3). The burning paper and the smoke rising was my prayer and offering to God that I was forgiving those people and giving them to Him to take care of. This was real freedom for me and a sweet smelling fragrance to God.
Thank you Father God for showing me this wasn’t just a pail with burning paper, but a beautiful picture of a prayer of forgiveness rising to You through the smoke.
Forever this will be a visual reminder that on August 19, 2007 I forgive those people once and for all.