I was angry and frustrated. In fact, I was just pouring out to a good friend last night about how angry I was and that the whole world had done me harm and I was the victim of the worst calamity known to mankind. (Okay… maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but still!)
The point is I was angry. And hurt. And frustrated. And angry. And disappointed. Did I say I was angry?
I asked God, “Lord, YOU said that if I delight myself in You, YOU will give me the desires of MY heart! I did delight myself in You before this, where’s the desires of my heart?”
Yes. I used that exact phrase. Those angry and bitter words, I hurled back at God. Why why why. (Don’t we ever stop asking why?)
This morning. Did my usual quiet time. I didn’t feel like it. Felt like I was drifting away.
Then I read this morning’s devotional…“A Sheer Delight” (click on it to read it) and the scripture was taken from Psalm 37.
Opened my Bible and began reading…
(Below’s the version of the Bible I use – New Living Translation)
1 Don’t worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
(Right, I’ve been envious of a lot of people. Why they can achieve and get things they want so easily? It’s not fair)
2 For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
(And up until this point… I was shocked. Here’s the exact same verse which I had used against God…)
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
(The version I had memorized as a child and had used was taken from NIV and reads as this: “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Up at this point, I was almost going to break, and I asked Him, “Why did You let me read this now today? Of ALL verses!”
Little did I know that the answer lies in the next few lines…)
5 Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
7 Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
(Pretty much like a combination of Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God” and Isaiah 40:31 “but those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength…”. Both verses which have been very dear to me. It was like *wham* *wham* – a hit on my head to wake me up to my senses.)
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
(Now here comes the instructions….and it couldn’t get anymore obvious than that)
8 Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.
9 For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.
10 Soon the wicked will disappear.
Though you look for them, they will be gone.
11 The lowly will possess the land
and will live in peace and prosperity.
I was left stunned. Did not know what else to say. I kept asking “God, why this.. why now… I was happy being in the angry state (well, technically it’s not a happy thing being angry, but it felt right and justified). Because this means I cannot be angry anymore. How can I not be angry? It was a natural thing to feel! WRONG. It was detrimental to me and to my friends’ (the MANY of you wonderful, wonderful ones) ears. It was hurting and slowly acidifying me.
It’s not going to be easy not being angry. (Double negatives should make a positive right? It’s going to be easy being angry. Yeah. Sounds right. In case that confused you, It’s going to be difficult being unangry [there is such a word. check the dictionary. I did!])
But I’m going to have to try. Well, at least try and let Him take over and give me the strength to try and continue trying. Sigh. God help me!