For the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God.
I bet you didn’t know this day even existed. I didn’t until recently. An eight year old boy, I have the pleasure of working with, got angry because I said “No” to something he wanted. He ran away from where we were standing and ran straight to a small book case and kicked it. Then he turned to see what I was going to do. I asked him to have a seat at the table so we could talk later. He sat, but he also started yelling at me and one thing he yelled was, “well, didn’t you know that it’s National Kick An Object Day?”
When he calmed down, he explained that you kick an object to keep from kicking a person. I am pretty sure I was the intended person. “No” has a way of bringing out anger in this boy and sadly, it does the same to me. I can honestly say I have never kicked someone or even an object that I can remember. I do remember, though, how strangely satisfying it was one day to take a set of plates out to an open field and smash them into rocks. Not that much fun to clean up, however.
I haven’t felt the kind of anger that drove me to break a set of plates in a very long time. But lately, I feel a lot of anger. Some directed at myself, some at others and some at God. He didn’t heal me like I believed He would. I know, I sound as petulant as that boy who kicked the book shelf. I am not proud of this, just saying. Matthew Henry’s commentary says this about this verse:
Instead of blaming God under our trials, let us open our ears and hearts to learn what he teaches by them… We must yield ourselves to the word of God, with humble and teachable minds. Being willing to hear of our faults, taking it not only patiently, but thankfully. It is the design of the word of God to make us wise to salvation; and those who propose any mean or low ends in attending upon it, dishonour the gospel, and disappoint their own souls.
I have been borrowing prayers because I didn’t have any of my own, but I am willing to open my ears and my heart to learn what God is teaching me by this trial. I can pray that He would do just that. I desire to be wise to salvation, not dishonoring it. I can’t go around claiming National Kick An Object Day every time I don’t get my way without disappointing my own soul and grieving the Holy Spirit of God who lives in me.
So Father God, help me to refrain from acting out in anger. Help me to be willing to go through this trial with an open mind and a willing heart to what you want to teach me through this. Help me to be a place where Your Spirit is pleased to dwell, a place of peace and humility and willingness to trust You when I don’t see the answers I want or think I need. I need Your grace for these things, because we both know, I don’t like the word “no” any better than my 8 year old friend. I ask in Jesus’ name, amen.
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