Ever come across times where anger starts to simmer on the inside, then quickly into a rolling boil, and within milliseconds you are a volcanic eruption, causing a mess you soon regret? Let me introduce you to yours truly. Why is it the ones usually subjected to my hot tempers are those nearest to my heart? Determined to remove this raging beast inside, I specifically asked the Lord to extinguish this anger.
“I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4 (NIV)
Not more than a day passed, the Lord used my anger to reveal my heart. Oh boy! Does my God answer prayers! As a mother of a toddler, it’s often easy to allow anger to take over. Yes, mothers have their days, but over the last year of raising my son, God gave me an overpowering urge to change my reaction to circumstances.
He gave me an opportunity to change and breakthrough.
On a normal Sunday afternoon, I was “challenged” by my son during nap time. If I could physically transform into a beast with red horns, a cherry complexion, and a long, winding pointed tail, I probably would have. Frustration, impatience, and lack of sleep, stirred a violent compulsion in me to throw objects across the room, slam doors (possibly 10x too many slams), and to screech and bark orders. You get the picture.
Bless my husband’s heart. Hearing the horror, he offered to take over and help. My stubborn inner child, snapped him a fierce, “No! I’ll handle it myself!” I could feel his eyes on me as I looked away, shame slowly replacing anger as he decided to tread to the living room downstairs.
With my precious boy crying himself to sleep in his room, most likely in terror and confusion, I stood outside his bedroom door, looking to the ceiling, and quietly crying out to Jesus, “Lord, what do I do?”
Quietly, I hear, “Go and ask your husband for help.”
My steps, slow and small, I crept my way downstairs, threw my arms around my husband, sobbing and begging for help. Comforted in his arms, he assured I have his full support to work towards overcoming my anger. Feeling guilty to what my son witnessed moments earlier, I prayed he would quickly wake from his nap to apologize. Within minutes, my little guy comes whimpering. I crumbled to my knees asking for his forgiveness. All was well again when he smiled, wrapping his tiny arms around my neck.
As the remaining day progressed, I’m reminded of a verse my friend cited in James 1:20 —
“Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” (NIV)
I called my friend in prayer, and we sat on the phone together, asking God to reveal the root of my anger. I retraced the steps of my day…was I tired? Lord, what made me tired? Why was I so frustrated? Lord, what made me snap? Why this inner turmoil? Suddenly, he opened my eyes and uncovered the truth.
I’ve heard that word used several times…but not on me. The need for control drove me to pure madness. Instead of giving God what I could not control, I made my own self-righteous decision to handle things MY way. To put it bluntly, my way did not fair out so well.
If you are battling a need for control — I pray for radical change and breakthrough for you. I pray Jesus will reveal your identity: His princess, a nurturing mother, a beautiful wife, a loyal friend, a talented daughter… and crush the enemy that hurts your relationships. I pray you plug into God and allow him heal you, as he has healed me.