As I said in the last post I wrote this about a week or so ago, but just couldnt find the right time to post it. So here goes… a little slice of what the Lord is revealing to me.
So, here is a post that I hesitate to write, I hesitate to share and I hesitate to let you read. I hesitate because it’s a post in which I share the ugliness of my heart. But, as I have said before and will probably say again, we don’t want this blog to be all sunshine and rainbows. We want it to be real and honest. We want it to be a real picture of our lives for those who don’t get to live life by our sides. So here goes, here I am.
I keep trying to write a happy, fun post and I just can’t seem to get anything out that’s any good. Really that’s because things don’t feel happy and fun right now. Over the past few weeks I have been experiencing a lot of frustration and anger and it has been far more frequent than I am used to. I am not generally an angry person… anxious? yes. emotional? definitely. but angry? not really.
I am so ready for it to stop. Ready for the frustration that quickly escalates to anger to cease and leave me alone. But honestly it is just becoming more frequent.
What pains my heart the most is that more often than not it gets taken out on my sweet husband. It pains me just to write that. The truth is that he didn’t and doesn’t deserve any of it. It is nothing he has done or that he can fix. It is all me and my sin and he is simply the unsuspecting target of it all.
In church yesterday Kirk, our pastor, was preaching about… wait for it… anger. Yep, we are going through the Sermon on the mount and just as I begin to fall on my knees begging the Father to change my wicked heart… He speaks.
But, not all of the things that the Father says are comforting, at least not at first. Jesus is talking to the people about the laws and giving them a radical new way to see the laws. Teaching them to look beyond the external act and to look straight at the heart of what’s happening. So with the law “though shalt not murder” we are now called to look beyond that. To look at the heart and ask what is it in the heart that causes people to murder. Well, at the heart of it, the root of the issue is anger.
Jesus speaks to the people warning them not to be like the scribes and Pharisees, who find their worth in their keeping of the laws. He challenging them and their way of thinking, reveals that their external view of the law is missing the point. The pharisees see the law pointing only to physical murder as sin, but Jesus looks beyond it and points to the anger that causes the murder. A heart of anger, if allowed to continue in it’s path will lead to murder. It will lead to taking something into one’s own hands and putting it to death to get our own way. Murder begins in the heart. As Kirk said, “Behind every violent act there is a heart attitude that caused it to happen.” Even though they have not physically murdered, they have felt anger towards people and that is the sin in their hearts all the same. That is sin in my heart all the same.
So here I am, drowning in my own anger, feeling suffocated and trapped by it and unable to break free. So now what? I do what Christ did and look to the heart of the issue. I am angry…but why?
When we look at the heart of anger what do we find? Why are people angry? Well, before we can ask that we have to recognize that there are two types of anger…righteous anger that flares up and gets angry on behalf of the glory of God and unrighteous anger that flares up on behalf of an idol.
Either I’m angry for God, or I’m angry for my idol; unfortunately I cannot claim my frustration or anger as being on God’s behalf.
Through listening to teachers, praying and reflecting, I think I know why I am so angry and frustrated. I’m selfish. I want it to be all about me. Something is not happening the way I want it to, or a way that I don’t think it should, so I am frustrated.
This “its all about me” attitude is immediately met with friction because the reality is that it’s not all about me. In fact very little, if anything, in this world and life is actually about me. It’s all about God and as long as I want it to be all about me I will be constantly frustrated or angry with the things that keep pointing to my lack of control or lack of respect I’m receiving or whatever else it is I think I deserve.
Being here in England having my work not be in a school, but in building my home and loving my family I’m feeling a bit lost for direction. I realized the other day that I have given myself super high expectations of what should be done everyday and am giving myself no grace. I’m comparing myself with other women and their calling instead of focusing on God and asking Him each day for my tasks.
Then, when Mo comes to me with something small he needs doing during the day (because he’s working to pay the bills that keep us living) I get frustrated with him. The idol of myself gets threatened because an extra thing means my to do list gets longer, making my goal and my new worth further away and I get angry.
Of course I’m feeling angry. My worth is not in this world. My worth is found in my heavenly Father and when I put it in a to-do list I will be disappointed whether its by reaching it or not being able to. And I will be angry at whatever or whoever I can blame for not letting me protect and puff up my idol, which in this case is myself.
I don’t want to puff myself up. I don’t want to make myself more important than God. I don’t want to get frustrated thinking that I deserve X, Y, and Z. I don’t deserve anything. I have been given it by grace from a loving Father who finds joy in blessing me and bringing me into Him.
In a way the anger is a blessing. It has woken me up from my “its all about me” frame of mind. It has made it painful to gaze upon myself instead of gazing into the face of God.
And so I return to the feet of my Father. Admitting my sin and my idolatry. Asking Him to change my sinful heart as only He can. Thankful that I don’t have to try and do it myself. Heartbroken for all of the angry people out there who don’t know my Father and won’t turn to Him. Tomorrow is a new day. My Father finds joy in welcoming me back. And for that I am thankful.