…on anger… (prayer management of) …

Yesterday i encountered yet another awesomely-thought provoking blog, “Patience in Picking Fights”  (Click to Check It Out HERE!)  from Pastor John Gresham. His words made me pause (they often make me squirm, so pausing is a Good Thing) & then dig out the following words from a recent daily reader:

“Resentment casts a cloud over your prayers… if you collect injuries and resentments and think you can still pray, you would probably put water in a bucket full of holes… If you restrain your anger, you will discover how to pray well.

Anger is like an overcast day for the soul. It will destroy your prayer life.

When we know we are in the Divine Presence, negative thoughts are stilled… Much of the time, however, we struggle between prayer and disturbing thoughts. Our emotions get in the way… Keep trying. If we knock on the door hard enough, it will be opened.”    Evagrius Ponticus, 4th Century Desert Father  (Matthew 7:7)

It’s so easy to Get Angry – at politics (politicians!), court rulings, your family (wife, husband, kids, siblings), friends, annoying colleagues, your boss, yourself – all potential Beanheads (at times!!)

With my flaming red hair, sometimes my temper has flamed up against the perpetuators of injustice in a good-THIS MUST CHANGE-way… but then, there’s this faith challenge in the Gospels to ‘love your enemies’ & ‘pray for those who persecute you’ (& your persecuted friends, people group et all..)   Anger doesn’t deflect injustice; actions taken in anger usually just bring on more (violence, unjust actions, misunderstandings…)

Va’s Busy Fan!

For years my boss & treasured mentor, Bill Warnock, often told me, “Go stand in front of the fan.”  Sure, it was REALLY hot in the West Bank & Gaza Strip, but sometimes Virginia’s youthful temper needed a little fan action before reacting to the latest crisis-maker.  (‘Tis also wise to ‘sit on’ that diatribe you’ve been hammering out for the higher-ups in your respective organizational Food Chain; look at it after a good night’s sleep, and… a good bit of prayer!)

I know what it’s like to be mad at God (really MAD! like just say the Lord’s Prayer & that’s it kinda mad..)  Hey, BAD STUFF HAPPENs. To all, well, MANY of us.

But there’s this soft Heavenly Voice that calls us out of our anger… to be healed, to put aside our fears so they can melt in the cauldron of God’s love that burns brightly for us wherever we are – on the mountain tops (easy to see) & in the dark valleys of life when we have a hard time seeing anything through the mists of despair and at bleak overlooks.  At times it gets completely dark and Really Stormy.  As we dodge lightning & shake from life’s thunderous pain (of heart, mind & body), we fall flat on our faces in the mud of confusion & get mired in the clingy slime of bitter anger.

Quietly, tenderly God draws us ever closer to His Heart with His gentle voice: “Fear not, be not dismayed; I AM with you always…”

Maybe it’s the kind of pain that won’t go away this side of Heaven, but we’re not alone. Each minute, each hour, each day – God is with us.  El Shaddai, the Almighty, All-Powerful Healer of hearts…

Does putting aside our anger cost? Sure, it might. No more, ‘woe is me, all is despair’… Giving up ourselves sacrificially costs – ourselves. That’s rather expensive in this ‘make-it-happen-for ME’ world. But it’s Rather Different in Heaven where the currency is mercy, forgiveness, joy, peace, grace, gentleness & LOVE…

“Count the cost by looking at the Cross.”

(Cross: Convent of San Francesco, Assisi)

Let go of your anger, listen (prayerfully) & let God do something new in you.

grace, peace & Heavenly Bleach*

Virginia : )

(*for Anger Mud Stains)

P.S.   “A soft answer turns away wrath”… (not a smart-aleck, smirky, ‘i am always right – you are always so wrong answer)… “but harsh words stir up fury.” Proverbs 15:1 (Virginia’s paraphrase)

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10 Responses to …on anger… (prayer management of) …

  1. Cindy Kranich says:

    Bravo…well said! I’m very moved by your words at the week’s end, month end, quarter end and all the craziness of trying to close a ton of loans under duress. This really resonates with me. Thanks so much for this insightful exhortation! Hope you’re feeling better. Miss you, luv u, Cin

    • Virginia says:

      Thanx Cin… feeling much better (thanx be to God!) & we had to miss 2 BiPap nites for Papa due to severe lightning/thunderstorms, so the nite-monitor-duty-ee is very grateful for that sleep! Hope this week is better for you – looking forward to next weekend : ) – Gin

  2. Mama Sel says:

    Proverbs 15:1 is the first memory verse (aside from John 3:16) that I engraved in my heart. Having a younger husband and three kids, it wasn’t always easy to be happy and for things to be always in order. But anger doesn’t help make things better either. I like the way you ended your entry with the cost of putting anger aside. Truly, there is power in Jesus. The impossible is never impossible to Him. May God continue to bless you, dear! Thank you for visiting my blog and liking one of my entries. To God be the glory! 🙂

    • Virginia says:

      AMEN – truly with Christ the impossible is possible…& i’ve seen how He changes hearts (mine inclusive) in ways unimagined … (plus it helps when we get to the ‘end’ of our meager resourceful selves & have to say, “HELP!” Peter did it in the boat, remember, “Lord, pls save me!”) Blessings to you & so enjoyed finding your blog the other day. God IS glorified in & through you.. Thank you for being ‘His Instrument..” grace, peace & FAITH — Virginia : )

  3. Uncle Tree says:

    Guilty of anger; guilty of self-righteousness; guilty, guilty, guilty, ad nauseam.
    But, as for me and you and everybody else – The Golden Rule applies.
    For the sake of love, I forgive the incident immediately.
    I know my shadow all to well.

    Peace to you, Ginny.
    Luvz, UT 🙂

    • Virginia says:

      Uncle TREE! just knew you had to be a Mercy Groupie, too! If we ask (Very Often) for mercy, ’tis for sure knowing our need for mercy helps in the ‘be merciful to others’ department (forgiveness inclusive..) yes, for the sake of Christ’s love forgiveness to others Should Be quick to dispense– but sometimes it takes me Awhile (lots of prayer, ‘steam sessions’ – letting the stewing over what what steam out, & looking at the Cross helps the forgiveness perspective!)

      Guess if we stay plugged in to The Light, it’s harder for our shadows to hinder us? hmmn. like (really, really like) that imagery. Sounds C.S. Lewis-ish…

      LOTS of peace back, to you UT!
      grace, peace & Mercy Groupie Hugz – Ginny : )

  4. Uncle Tree says:

    Amen, Ginny! The Light lands shortly before a shadow is born. And the cock crows…

    “Get thy horny head and split hooves behind me, shadow man! Barbarian!
    Out of sight, out of mind, and in the past. Nothing but the best
    for my whiny and never-satisfied ego to look forward to with the only eyes I have.”

    Go to the Garden alone and often.
    My favorite advice from the Son Of Man,
    who loves both Mother and (a step-it-up) Father.

    🙂 Cheerz! UT

    • Virginia says:

      my Papa calls his devotionals ‘Garden Spots’ — thought you would appreciate that! So good to get quality Garden time (uh, spiritual garden-tending, maybe on the outer edge of heavy duty Gethsemane?? )… but it is always good to pray, ‘not my will, but Thine be done..”

      Blessings back at’ cha — & Cheers – VA

  5. vftmom247 says:

    Good one! Anger does tend to almost warp our prayer life. Side note; it is so comforting to know God does get it when we’re mad, even if (most specially when?) we’re mad at Him.

    • Virginia says:

      Amen – and AMEN! very comforting… how infinite is the abyss of His love for us that knows no bounds when we get so ruffled & huffed. Methinks He doth understand … especially about the Tough Stuff (why this? why ME? why now? … & not just kidney stones, but you know, the Really Bad Stuff that happens to everyone? there’s that anger of not understanding… until we realize we won’t understand & Must Needs God’s Help to cope with whatever the bad stuff is…For sure He gets it & for sure, He’s there with His loving embrace (& Heavenly Rope) to pull us out of our anger… & despair.

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