I Am- Devotional Style Short Stories – “Patience is a Virtue”

The weather has turned cold, dreary, and raining. The vehicles on the roads are at a standstill while an accident ahead is being taken care of. The ambulances block the road, the fire trucks are parked horizontally across the lanes blocking all oncoming traffic.

A Man stands beside the road watching and praying. His Father in heaven knows what is happening and the Man is merely doing what the Father has called Him to do. A woman sits bleeding in her car. Another person in another car is unconscious as the paramedics tend to his wounds. The big rig that slammed into a pickup truck is twisted in the middle of the road. Car parts are scattered across the pavement and two bodies lie lifeless on the side of the road with blankets covering their bodies.

Impatience grows with the lined cars down from the wreckage. It’s been an hour and still there is no movement of traffic. A young man in a souped up Trans Am yells out his window, “Let’s get this thing moving. I have things to do and people to see!” An elderly man shakes his head in disgust and comments to his wife, “These young people think the whole world revolves around them.” She agrees.

Two hours have passed and as the Man watches He’s aware of the young man becoming more and more impatient. He finally walks toward the Trans Am as the young man stomps beside his car swearing and shaking his fist.

“Patience is a virtue,” the Man states as He walks up beside the young man.

“Who are you!?” the young man demands.

“I am the I Am. You need to settle down for the things of this world are temporary.”

The young man laughs. “Oh, you’re one of those Jesus freaks. My Mom used to preach that garbage to me.”

“You should have listened to her,” the Man states.

The young man turns his back and yells more profanity. The Man touches his shoulder and suddenly the young man drops like a rock to the ground. He doesn’t know what hit him and lies lifeless on the pavement.

The cars begin to inch forward and the Man looks down at the young man on the ground. “I give you my peace, as soon as you wake up.”

***

Ecclesiastes 7:9 “Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.”

***

We all have times when our tempers seem to take control but we have the power and authority in Christ Jesus to be able to control any out bursts that may want to spill forth. When we allow the flesh, our humanness with its sin nature, to control our attitudes and thoughts, as well as our behavior, we are falling into the traps of the enemy of God. There is righteous anger and there is what we humans refer to “as flying off the handle.” When we walk in the Spirit we are leading others by our actions. Don’t be fooled into thinking that non-believers are not watching believers. They are and are looking for anything to convict them of their own disbelief. By curbing our outbursts we are leaving an imprint not only to those around us but also in the heavenly realms, for all we do and do not do have an eternal affect.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “We Were Not Alone”

 

We Were Not Alone

Her nerves are stretched to where she feels she can stand this no more. She slams on the brakes of the car in the parking lot and sits staring at nothing as the motor idles. Her mind seems to have gone on hold. No thoughts, no feelings, no nothing. It’s been too much.

Finally, shaking her head as though to awaken from a deep sleep, she turns the ignition off, and takes a long agonizingly deep breath and steps out of the car.

Walking into the building she walks to the elevator and rises to the third floor. Slowly she opens a door and enters into a plush waiting room with a fake palm tree in one corner, enticing comfortable chairs, and carpet so thick she feels she could curl up on it like a cozy warm bed.

She signs the sheet on the clip board and takes a seat. Glancing at the stack of magazines she ignores a Man sitting across the room. Then her name is called.

For thirty minutes she sits with her hands folded tightly in her lap and tells her counselor about a horrifying memory of her childhood. Tears stream, she wants to scream but takes a deep breath and fights to maintain control.

He’s sympathetic and asks several questions. She replies as best she can. One question arises that throws her into a tizzy. “Where was Jesus when this happened?”

She bolts out of the chair and paces.

The Doctor waits.

Unbeknownst to her the Man has entered the room.

He waits.

She stomps across the room and with fists tightly clenched at her sides, she stares out the window at the parking lot below. Tears stream down her face. She fights to subdue her anger.

“Where was Jesus?” the Doctor asks again and she spins around facing him. “I don’t know!” she almost screams.

She runs her hands through her hair in a frantic, hopeless and frustrated gesture, and plops down on the couch. She closes her eyes trying to fight the flood of tears that want to rush down her cheeks, and before the Doctor can say anything a vision appears before her.

The vision is so clear of Jesus on His knees with tears streaming down His face and begging His Father to stop what is happening to this child. His pain is so evident and His agony is even greater than the child’s that He’s praying for, her!

On the couch she is shaking violently and sobbing. Now she knows the answer.

***

Luke 22:42 – “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

***

Even Jesus asked His Father to not let this happen, and yet He suffered greatly, even unto death. Children do not have the physical or emotional ability to stop abuse that is being inflicted upon them; be it emotional, physical, or sexual. They cry out in many instances to deaf ears and blind eyes begging for it to stop. The hurt goes so deep it becomes anger and many times that anger is directed straight at God. “Why didn’t You stop it!?” “He did nothing!” is how many deal with those issues. As in the story above, the great I Am was there. He can’t reach down and stop the torment being inflicted, but He is praying fervently for the child. He knows our suffering. He knows our tears, His heart is being ripped out at seeing what we are going through, then and now. He is with us through it all. We can blame God, or we can reach out to Him to help us overcome all that was done. If the suffering is continuing through your thoughts and memories, reach out to Christ. Invite Him into your suffering. He’s waiting to take you in His arms and heal your heart.

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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.