You know the movie and you know what scene I mean. "NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!!!" Scary huh? Well, I've had my share of moments like that. And some in the not-to-distant past, like this week. Things you say (or yell) because you can't reach them in a normal voice. And by them, I mean, my family's ears. I've said more than once that I think my family developed a hearing impairment when we moved down to Trinidad. No one can seem to hear me in my normal voice so I have to yell and get really irritated or angry. I finally bent the knee, I think, for real. Oh, I've prayed about my anger issues many, many times. We had some real problems in our marriage several years ago and man, I was angry about it. So, I took it out on Dave.
Not surprisingly, when I finally confessed what my desperate need was, to be rid of this anger and let The Lord rule in every situation, The Lord was faithful to change me. I have been praying the same thing about releasing me from my anger as a mother for months now. But something was always holding me back--it was justification of my actions. I mean, I know what's best right? That's why God made me a mother for goodness sakes!
Yesterday I read a lot of James but verse 1:19 stood out. I'm going to include the version from The Message below, it's actually 19-21 so you can see what I mean. It has so much meat in it, how could it not just pierce my heart?
Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God's righteousness doesn't grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.
To me, this is just not only a beautiful visual (I mean, letting God landscape your mind, body and spirit Himself--recreating Eden in you? Wow, that's awesome Mr. Peterson!); it also provides a solution. The NIV version says in verse 19: be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. That's good but The Message really told me what to do. The Word was alive to me yesterday in this capacity and I knew what I needed to do.
My dear sister-in-Christ, Suzy, had emailed earlier in the week about prayer requests. I hadn't responded yet, so it was clear that I needed her and several other prayer warrior friends on their knees with me to drive a stake into the heart of this generational sin (the anger and justification of the anger I mean). It was time to stop justifying it because I'm "The Mother", it was time to start living as Christ.
Frankly, just knowing their beautiful prayers, that are like incense to our Heavenly Father, were on their way, changed my outlook. I was released from acting the way I usually do. Not that I've been perfect or really too much better, but I can feel The Holy Spirit working in me. In some cases, what comes out of my mouth no longer shames me, it has actually surprised me with it's relative kindness. The Lord still has a lot of work to do, but I can claim these verses knowing, as my dear sister-in-Christ Lynn says, His word NEVER comes back void.
I guess the takeaway here (if blogs are for takeaways) is that you should never doubt the power The Word, The Spirit or your fellow Christians prayers. If you aren't in either of them, get in it somehow or get somebody praying for you to be. God just loves to grow bigger and bigger for us. I'm sitting on this side of 4 years of re-dedication and 17 years as a believer but I know I haven't even gotten but a taste of how much He loves me. He wants me (and you) to live free of these things that hold us down, keep us paralyzed. That's what Jesus meant by abundant life and Paul & the writer of Hebrews by running "the race" unhindered.
I know that this thought is not original but it is more alive to me today than it has been for awhile. All praise and honor to our Lord and Savior (and my dearest friend) Jesus Christ!