It might be my fault....
I was having a bath to wash off half a tonne of soil after a day spent digging in my garden to work off some negative energy caused by stressful situations that have caught up with me lately. Then I just decided to ask God to take that anger from me. A millisecond later, there was a huge crash of thunder right over the house and the whole room darkened dramatically, to be lit by the lightning overhead.
(In literature, I think there's a special name for events or feelings being reflected by atmospheric phenomenon, but I can't remember that much from 'O' level (yes, I'm that old but I was in the last year group to do them) English. Macro-something.)
Anyway, back to real life, not fiction.
I felt all the tension fall from me as I gave the anger back to God.
(Why was I angry? Lots of things building up, really. Six babies lost in pregnancy over the last five years. My one experience of giving birth marred by an emergency C-section where the anaesthetist only managed to block the pain in the right hand side of my body - the side they cut first - so that the surgeon had to continue cutting me with, no pain block on the left hand side, in order to save my baby. I had to have a general anaesthetic, so neither parent was with him when he was born and I didn't see him for three days because he was only 3lb 1oz and needed to be in intensive care. Pleading with more surgeons at 2,3, 4am in Birmingham and Walsall to operate on my son at 3 months old because we could not reduce his hernias and we had been told that that was life-threatening. Another surgeon putting a pin through the nerve instead of to one side when he broke his arm. The lorry that missed us by a foot or so when it failed to stop on the Oakdale roundabout the other day....
...just a few things that can ruin your evening if you start to dwell on them.)
So, anyway, back to the present. Give the anger to God and it stops being a destructive force and becomes an amazingly powerful one instead. For one, he can handle the anger. He is big enough. He invented the concept and knows how to use it. He directs it at the one enemy we all face, who tries to persuade me that I should be angry at the surgeons or the lorry driver instead. This enemy hides behind all kinds of facades, but there is nowhere he can go to escape from God. And neither can I. Listen to this song, written thousands of years ago:
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute--
you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you." (Psalm 139, The Message)
So why play the anger game? There is someone much bigger and much more able than I to deal with it. He doesn't mess about. A friend of mine (mentioned in a previous blog - sadly his sister went to be with Jesus a few weeks ago) forgave the men who murdered 71 members of his family including his dad and his sister. You can't tell me that that is humanly possible. It just isn't. He gave the anger back to God and the results were out of this world. He started an orphanage for children from the tribe the murderers came from. He started a farm project and employed those same men on it. He and his mum adopted five orphans and raised them. His remaining sister dies of cancer, despite our prayers from around the world and he still praises God.
This is real. This is grace. This is what God can do with your anger, my anger, his anger.
Give it up.