Dying to the RATS
My dentist stood before me after a long look into my mouth and said, “The sore in your mouth is Necrotizing Sialometaplasia.” Now, that’s a big word for seven a.m. in the morning. Very quickly the routine dental cleaning-checkup had now turned into something much bigger and foreboding. As he snapped off his gloves and pulled up his techno viewer glasses, he went on to explain, “it’s a big word for the small sore in the roof of your mouth. We’ll need to recheck it in a couple weeks, I’m sure it will be all healed up by then. But we need to take a look again just to make sure.”
I knew enough that the word necrotizing meant something was dying. But, I was stunned to hear such a big word in relation to MY mouth. Apparently, sometime in the last couple of weeks I either drank or ate something so hot or rough that the roof of my mouth had trauma. The wound was in the area of a salivary gland and the flesh had to die out enough to heal.
After a couple deep breaths a follow up appointment was scheduled for two weeks later to recheck my mouth. In a state of shock and fear, an old tape ran in my head, to the worst possible scenario, oral cancer!! I walked out of the office in a fog and drove to the grocery store. As I drove along, I could hear another old message, “All those years you smoked have now caught up to you.” I could feel a knot in my stomach and tears rising up. Fear and shame flooded through me in an instant. Just as I turned into the grocery store parking lot I saw a big fat rat run across the street in front of me. It seemed odd that a rat would be crossing a parking lot in daylight with all the traffic of early morning shoppers, so I asked Father, “What is this? A sore in my mouth that is bringing death, and now a rat running across the road in front of me in broad daylight! What is going on here LORD?”
I called my ministry partners and shared what had happened both at the dentist and in the grocery store parking lot. They listened, encouraged me and prayed for me. I thank God for the questions they asked because they helped me settle my mind and guide my thoughts in the days to come as I continued responding by asking Father what he desiring to show me.
As the days have passed here’s what I have come to understand. The mouth is how we bless or curse. Our mouths are the way we communicate what our hearts believe. Physical trauma to the mouth is serious as it is so close to your brain via nerves and pathways to your brain. Your mouth determines taste, texture and temperature. Jesus was clear about the power of our words.
The rat is an abhorrent creature that represents disease, filth and fleas. Images of the Dark Ages and plague flash in my mind. I asked Father to show me what He was showing me about my own RATS (Radical Attacks Thru Sin) in my heart. As I prayed over the next couple of days Father showed me that I still had a lie buried deep in my heart that I would be punished for past sins even after I had repented and turned away. The rat was a picture of the exposure that Father was bringing to my life regarding that lie. Rats don’t usually move around in the daylight; whatever was causing the animal to leave the dark spaces was due to a poison the rat had ingested. Thirst drives a poisoned animal to seek water. As the animal drinks their insides turn to mush because of the chemical reaction from the poison.
Father showed me as we seek to fearlessly expose these things, the “RATS”, we want to keep hidden and secret in the dark places of our present or past that His mercy will cause us to experience an event that jolts our old tapes: lies, judgements or vows. Now I understood the mercy of God to grant repentance.
The rat was a messenger from Father to be aware that things done in the dark are coming to light and all things will be exposed eventually. He comforted me as I understood. The more we can stand in the place of allowing Father to show us those places and pray with other trusted, safe friends can break through the hard shell of hiddenness we can destroy those old thought tapes linked to shame and fear.
Even in this process we have to die to ourselves and trust Him so we can learn to walk in more and more freedom with Father. We all have tapes and sometimes they come at us out of nowhere when we least expect them. I Thank God we have Jesus, our Christ, the Holy One, that sits with us interceding as we work through these events so that our tapes are changed from sin and shame to freedom, peace and hope.