Anger is a strange thing. I’m not very used to it. Yet it has sneaked up on me over the past 3 days to the point where I am going to have to take myself in hand and do something about it—preach to myself, repent of it, something.
Have you ever been angry? I mean really, really angry. Hurt angry. I was not expecting such a thing to manifest itself in the ways that it has in my soul this week. While not angry at God, I have allowed my anger to keep me from doing my daily disciplines. Which has just made matters worse, but I didn’t care. I have allowed my anger to sow seeds of doubt and bitterness in my mind and my heart–tough things, I think, to root up. I have wanted to throw my computer. I have wanted to throw my phone. I have wanted to throw myself into a brick wall.
I’m not one with a temper. I rarely, rarely get angry. I used to get furious at my children when they were young, and so now I guard myself carefully from the concept, the experience of anger. I hate anger. I hate it in me, I hate it when I see it in others. I am scared of anger, it is frightening to me.
Jesus was angry, yet his anger was righteous. His anger was sinless. Not so with mine, I see that. But I do take comfort in the thought that Jesus experienced anger when he was a man upon this earth. So my anger is not so foreign to Him, that I can’t take it to Him in repentance and honesty. But my pride and stubbornness stand in the way. It’s like fighting through bramble bushes to get to the blackberries that you know must be there. I have to fight my way through my pride and my stubbornness, getting scratched up and poked, snagged and ensnarled until I can reach the place where I can lay my anger down, alongside my pride and stubbornness.
But tonight these 4 days of anger and hurt have built up and built up and goofed me up to where I know with head knowledge what I must do–fight the brambles–but find it hard to do so in my soul knowledge. There is self-pity, selfish whininess as well that causes me to what to throw myself down in the mud and make mud pies when I could be making castles by the ocean (an allusion to one of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes).
I need mercy. I need grace. But I also need God’s discipline. He disciplines those he loves. He disciplines his children. I need to preach to myself, and I need to take myself in hand. And I need to be open to His discipline of my mind and my soul.
I am weary tonight. It’s been a week of little sleep. I pray God will grant rest and peace and a way through the brambles and thorns of pride and bitterness to lead me to the place that I can lay this anger down.
Am I the only one who struggles with anger? Bitterness? Ugly pride?