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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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.