Sweet Aroma

The child stands at the edge of heaven. She’s curious about what goes on below and stands quietly while pondering all that she sees.

Waves of strife waffle up to her, streaks of stress zip past, anger thunders through the clouds, and as she is about to turn and walk away, The Man appears beside her.

She looks up at His face and with furrowed brows asks, “Is there no love there?” He kneels down beside and places His arm around her small shoulders. She nuzzles up closer to Him.

“Listen with your heart,” He tells her. She cocks her head a little and  scrunches up her face as though that helps her to tune into her heart.

“I don’t hear anything” she finally states.

“Close out the sounds of anger, hate, and dissension.” He whispers.

She tries again.

A sweet aroma engulfs her and she suddenly jumps away from Him and excitedly shouts, “I hear it. I feel it, I can smell love!”

“When we focus on God’s aroma we will escape the foul smell of sin.” He replies.

He leans over and gently kisses her on the cheek.

(Sue’s version) 2Cor. 2:15

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The Cat

The day began bright and sunny and the woman went about her daily chores. She stopped by her office to quickly check her e-mail and suddenly her world seemed to turn upside down.

Reading the last of the short e-mail sudden anger boils up within her. The day is now shot as she stomps about her living room with questions broiling through her mind. In a very short time her strong faith has taken a sucker punch to the gut.

By sundown tears continue to flow, not only from the anger within, but from the devastating news and the confusing thoughts screaming through her mind. Sorrow fills her heart but the anger and confusion overrides all feelings of empathy and sorrow. How can God do this!? screams in her mind.

By bed time her tears continue to flow and sleep is non-existent. The news she received pounds through her mind over and over and then other events, past events, intrude. Her anger boils until she feels she will go crazy. By the wee hours she is exhausted yet sleep will not come. Angry thoughts, thoughts of an unloving God, thoughts of how everything she has believed is hog wash inundate her mind.

Without realizing she has dozed off she’s embroiled in a dream. In the dream she is on a tight rope and at the far end of the tight rope a large black panther is creeping toward her. Step by step he comes closer with teeth bared and a riveting intent on killing her.

He gets close enough that she suddenly and viciously kicks the panther as hard as she can. He flies off the tight rope, but returns.  Again, he slowly stalks his prey. Hunkered down with piercing eyes focused and teeth gleaming through a low vicious growl, he moves slowly and purposefully.

She cocks her leg once again and when the big cat raises its paw to rip her wide open with his deadly claws, she kicks with all her might and hears a painful yelp from the cat as he falls into the abyss below.

Suddenly waking up, with heart racing, and jagged breathing, she sees a Man standing at the foot of her bed.

She blinks.

“Now you know where the anger and confusion is coming from,” the Man states and disappears.

(Sue’s version) 1Tim. 4:1 – 1Peter 5:8 – John 10:10

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Do we dare get mad at God?

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Sitting at the head of the long table with women gathered around, I hear anger being voiced. I hear cries that are fearful of shaking their fist at the God who created them. “But we can’t get angry at God!” one woman exclaims.  “Why not?” I softly ask.

God created us with all sorts of emotions and anger is one of those emotions. We get angry about a lot of things and we express it in many different ways. There is righteous anger and there is unrighteous anger.  In Dr. Harold Bloomfield and Robert Kory book, “Inner Joy” they list four types of non-constructive anger. I call it “self righteous” anger.

Some of us “stuff it” inside and do a slow sizzle. It’s called passive anger. We may try to make others feel guilty in the process. Hubby wants to go play golf. The wife wanted to do something together.  “Ohhh, you go ahead, I’ll just sit here all alone.”  The person doesn’t admit to even being angry like they are some saint and nothing bothers them yet they sit and burn a slow burn on the inside.

Some of us scream, yell, call names, stomp, hit the wall or others, throw things. That’s aggressive anger. This is the type of anger that can land people in prison. It is the anger that causes emotional damage that can take years to overcome. It is the type of anger that sends wives and children crying and bruised to their bedrooms to hide.

Hinting, placating, and avoiding responsibility is a type of anger where we express our anger indirectly. Instead of going to the person we are angry at we go behind their back to someone else. This type of anger is common in divorces.  Sadly, the children are usually the one that suffer because they’ve been used as the pawns for this type of anger. Or we go to a friend and drag him/her into the fight.

Overspending, lateness, “accidently” burning the dinner, are a few examples of the passive-aggressive anger. This person appears to be passive but in fact is aggressive. The anger is expressed in hidden ways and almost always causes hurt and humiliation. It’s a “I’ll show you” type of anger.

Righteous anger is when we get angry about a wrong being done. We see a child being beaten and step in, we hear gossip being spread about someone and know it’s wrong and a pack of lies.

But what about if we get angry at God? Can we get angry at God? Of course we can! There are several examples in the Bible where followers of Christ got angry. “Why do you treat your servant so badly?…Why are you so displeased with me that you burden me with all these people? Was it I who conceived all this people?…” (Numbers 11:11-12) Moses cried out to God.

Martha wasn’t a happy camper when Jesus waited four days to show up when Lazarus died and she let Him know. “If you had been here, my brother would never have died.” (John 11:21)

Even Jesus got angry! “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” (Matt.23:33)

Yes, we can and do get angry with God. Whether we admit it or not. He’s a big enough God to handle our anger. I have stated many times to the Lord, “I am really mad at you right now so I better shut up before I say something I will regret.” If we have a relationship with Christ we can be open and honest. He knows even before we do that we are angry. He understands it, accepts, and will help us through it if we turn that anger to prayer.

Instead of letting our anger simmer and turn to depression, anxiety, or even become a bitter root we can turn it over to God. If we lay it before Him in honesty it rids us of deep inner turmoil. When we voice our pain to Him He is faithful to take it upon His shoulders with love and compassion. He can use your anger, rage, outrage to build your faith and move you in directions you never dreamed possible.

~~~~~

“Be angry, and do not sin”‘, ‘”do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” Eph. 4:25-26

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Blessings to you.