"I don't smoke. I don't chew. I don't hang out with girls that do."
Southern elders and senior saints of the Baptist church community still remember this phrase birthed in the days of prohibition. It's the best way to summarize the "good church girl" classification I have lived under all my life.
But know this.... I CAN and DO get angry.
Remember the Hulk from the 70's?
"Don't make me angry. you wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
Dr. David Banner aka The Hulk
Yep. Sometimes, that's me.
My family and close friends know. There is a way I talk when I'm hot. They know when Phillipa starts "going in" like this, you might want to back away from the "good church girl".
As I look back, I start to recognize something about myself. I don't waste a lot of emotion on knee-jerk reactions or pity parties. I can be upset with you or disappointed in you and you may have no idea to what extent.
But after multiple infractions... after too many disappointments... well...
For me, getting angry takes time. It takes thought.
It... just... takes.
Anger is the last response, our indignant reaction before we resign ourselves to numbness. It's one of the most transparent emotions we have, our intense and intentional emotional response to what we had in mind.
But who could have imagined so many reasons to be mad in one year?
That we would lose so much?
Feel so much pain?
See so much suffering?
Live with so much stress?
Does this sound like you?
We all invested so much in the possibilities of 2020 and this is what we get?
I'll ask it, even if you won't... God, what are you doing to us?
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Most people remember these words being spoken by Jesus as He hung on the cross, but they were first uttered by King David in the Old Testament:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. ~Psalms 22:1
David conveyed his pain so passionately to God about feeling neglected by God that Jesus himself would later use the same words to articulate the depth of His own suffering.
David and Jesus let nothing keep them from being transparent with the Master of the Universe.
They also allowed nothing to distort their perspective of God.
It's one thing to be angry, it's quite another to be foolish.
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. ~Proverbs 29:11
In the end, they both came full circle; leaning, trusting, and releasing their despair into the hands of the One whose thoughts are not our thoughts and ways are not our ways.
After asking God this question, Jesus cried out in such a way as a nearby Roman centurion knew he was in the presence of God's son. And David? By the end of this psalm, David had found his way back to the sweet spot of praise that made him as the Bible describes in Acts 13:22 - "a man after God's own heart".
I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. ~Psalms 22:22-24
My mother might upset me sometimes, but that doesn't mean I'm crazy enough to disrespect her role in my life. How much more so with God. Sometimes, things will happen that create tension between us and Our Father in Heaven.
He expects it, and He still expects to be respected.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. ~James 1:19-20
So, to make sure you stay in line with the Divine, do these 3 things:
#1 - Let His Word speak to you.
Too many times, we miss out on God's peace because we didn't seek the answer in His Word. Before you raise your voice, listen for His voice in scripture.
#2 - Slow down the pace of your response.
Don't let your anger make you run off a cliff. Slow down. Take the time to remember who you are and who you represent in the world. Ask God to order your steps before you "step" to him.
#3 - Be mindful of how you express your stress.
There is a difference in having a voice and making noise. You have a voice in the Kingdom. Don't use up your priestly privilege on knee-jerk reactions. Be a good steward of your voice.
Remember... your devastation doesn't diminish His Divine.
Regardless of how distraught you may feel, the fact that you are coming TO Him gives opportunity to grow in your knowledge OF Him.
It did for Job...
Then Job answered the Lord and said, “I know that You can do all things, And that no thought or purpose of Yours can be restrained. “[You said to me] ‘Who is this that darkens and obscures counsel [by words] without knowledge?’ Therefore [I now see] I have [rashly] uttered that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ~Job 42:1-3 (Amplified Bible)
It's time to decide if this thing between you and God is casual or covenant.
Can you still love Him despite your disappointment?
He's still God.
He's still YOUR God, and He loves you even when you're mad at Him.
So, go to Him. Let the tears fall. Set your sorrow free.
Respect His role in your life even if you don't understand His response.
A Million Ways to PRAY
Thank you for coming along for the ride as we explored a Million Ways to Pray!
~ NOVEMBER ~
Is this a casual relationship or covenant?
Let's talk about it.
Were you helped by today's blog? I want to know what you think. And if you were, share it with your friends and family (even your enemies, if you want). We want the world to know that sometimes, it's just gotta be GOD n ME!
In the meantime, take care. Be safe. Look like LOVE.
WRITER | MENTOR | TEACHER
LOVER OF CHOCOLATE |
PURPOSED TO EMPOWER |
30+ YEARS IN MINISTRY LEADERSHIP |
PREACHER OF THE GOSPEL
Phillipa also the Founder of ilooklikeLOVE, Inc., a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization providing diaper assistance to families in need and opportunities for mothers to empower themselves.
Look for her upcoming book,
GOD n You: Finding Your Place in Forever.