There’s this thing we do when things that are out of our control become overwhelming. It’s called rage in my world. And it has ruined friendships and other relationships in my life – very recently. That term, “anger management,” even gets under my skin when this emotion takes over in me. I cannot, for the life of me, calm that urge to poke people, and not in the best way, to perform as promised.
Mortgage lenders, former “employers” that are dragging their feet about money owed, and car dealerships’ service techs that do not listen are among the irritating factors in my life at the moment, just when we are getting ready for our daughter’s wedding in a few weeks.
I’ll bet your sources of aggravation are not much different than mine. Life in America…
Imagine living in Israel right now…
We are so spoiled. Our complaints are like those of whiney schoolyard children needing naps. It makes me shake my head when I think about the rest of this planet right now. It puts things into perspective, but not enough to take away my rage!!
But you’re a Christian! You’re not supposed to rage!!! You have peace that surpasses all understanding…
But I’m #human. And I don’t always have that peace, until I stop, be still, and know that He is God and I am not, like I finally did yesterday.
I thought about writing this post yesterday, as I missed last Tuesday and this Tuesday, in the thick of all this insanity right now, but my rage has blocked me from being able to do so! How can I talk about Jesus and God and peace and love when I wanna rip somebody’s face off?
I don’t want you to know that I rage. It’s embarrassing! But I’m confessing. I must let you know that! Because lots of us do it and feel guilty about it. I know I am not alone here. Especially in our current global chaos!
Guess what? You need to know that this is probably the biggest struggle I have with my own self. Like Moses, I have a short temper, a not so small ego, and not a lot of patience! And the ONLY way I can deal with it sensibly, is with God’s Word, and His Spirit within me, when I can push mySELF out of the way.
The saddest part of all is not how it effects my life, but my daughter’s life, and those of the stepkids I’ve co-parented. I modeled how to rage, rather than love, joy, peace…self-control.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
This next verse was part of Pastor Rick Warren’s Daily Hope message yesterday. I didn’t open it in the morning like I used to all the time. There are so many great resources and devotionals that I sometimes bounce out of one for a time because I can’t spend all day reading and ruminating about all of them, as much as I want to most days.
‘For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. ‘ https://www.bible.com/bible/116/1TI.2.5.nlt
Here’s the thing. My friend and mentor, the founder of my fellowship group, sent me that verse above as the answer to my request for her opinion on one of these irritating events. She did this well over a week ago. And yesterday, while sitting in my yard, praying for a way to cope with this mess that involves over a dozen people who are being mistreated, I read Rick Warren’s message.
As usual, it hit me like a brick in my face. Good pastors are good at that. And I guess when you’re that intensely emotional person, intensely emotional things happen to you. My former boss and co-workers always used to tease me for having a black cloud over my head. Now they tease me that I left that cloud at the office because after I was gone the proverbial you-know-what hit the fan with more than one of them and the practice in general!
Peace with People Follows Peace with God. https://pastorrick.com/peace-with-people-follows-peace-with-god/
Please enjoy the website noted here. I know I do. And much of what inspires me to share my Christian walk with you is his gift of hitting every nail on the head. Every time! It’s like he’s in my head! It’s kind of spooky. But not really, because it’s how God works.
After commiserating with fellow co-workers, whom I spoke for when reaching out to the person doing the ignoring, I prayed to God to remove my rage, ease my mind, give me a solution, give me peace. When I rose from my chair my smartphone was jostled and “coincidentally” opened that message from my Daily Hope app. (ps: I don’t believe in coincidence).
Let me just tell you that my jaw dropped. There, in print, was the answer I prayed for. Right then and there. And it brought me to tears.
After some thought, I posted a message to those in the group I am referring to, in an effort to reconcile rather than resolve something that will never be understood. Someone is being dishonest. Someone is being deceived, besides those of us in that group, and someone will pay the price. But it’s not up to me to impose that price or resolve it. I can possibly reconcile, though.
If you open that link you can read it all. It’s short and sweet. And at the end was this:
Talk It Over
- Is there a relationship where you’ve been trying unsuccessfully for resolution? What step can you take toward reconciliation instead?
- How have you been encouraged by a Christian who’s a bridge builder, not a wall builder?
- Are you at peace with God? If not, what’s keeping you from making peace with him today?
One of the many things I love about Rick Warren’s teaching – and my own pastors where I live – is their way of organizing steps to take and points to ponder.
Pastor Rick has a teaching/speaking/writing gift. You will see me use his words and resources a lot in this blog. That first question he posed above is the one that made me take action.
And guess what? Today…a resolution occurred! Someone else reached out and helped to resolve the situation. Someone with a sweeter tongue and self-control. So when I took a step back, and took the initiative to try to reconcile, the atmosphere changed for me, personally. And my rage went from a rolling boil to a slow simmer.
Coincidence? I think not. God is so good!
He answered me. He didn’t let me get away. Again – He beat me at the tug-o-war 🙂
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
He only ever wants what is best for us, like any good parent. He will use your worst circumstances for good if you let Him.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord , plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. ‘ Jeremiah 29:11-13 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/JER.29.11-13