My eyes linger over the page. My conscience pricked and heart opened to an uncomfortable truth. Anger. I am angry. All.The.Time. And I feel helpless. Unable to hold back. Powerless against the tide of angry thoughts and feelings that rise up so quickly in my heart and mind. I am quick to react in anger; to snap at the ones I love, to yell at the washing machine when the clothes come out smelling slightly of funk and mildew because I forgot to unload the clothes the night before (totally the washing machine’s fault, right?), to glare and grumble against the passerby who dares to move into my lane without first properly signaling (like I’ve never done that?). The cat is meowing too loudly, I growl on the inside. The lightbulb went out in the fridge, I grit my teeth. Dear sweet hubby is home five minutes late from a work appointment, the world… is… ending! What is going on???
Is it really just the post partum hormones taking control? Is it the extreme fatigue caused by living in Newbornlandia? Maybe it is just frayed nerves caused by dear sweet toddler and his penchant for emitting bloodcurdling screams every time the baby cries, every time. The list grows…reasons why I am angry. I begin to justify the anger. It’s reasonable. Look at everything I have going on. My soul whispers, “Excuses.” My eyes return to the page where freshly underlined words pierce my unruly heart. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19,20 NIV).
Ouch. Everyone… I suppose that includes me. Slow to become angry… well I suppose I could be a bit more patient. “More than a bit dear one.” My soul nods in agreement. The Lord is speaking. I am not getting off the hook. I realize that this is a heart issue. I am not angry because of external circumstances, I am choosing to react in anger because this internal soul-level issue has not been confronted, dealt with, repented of. I need a heart change, an attitude change. He is able. And He is faithful. I agree with Him and ask for help. Please. Help. Me. His power can work this change in me.
And He does. The cat is back meowing at my feet. I bend down and stroke her soft fur. Hubby calls to let me know he is running a few minutes late from work. I smile, truly grateful for his job, that he works for a great company and actually enjoys what he does. The next day I load the littles in our dear sweet mini van. I am running late. I back out of the driveway and the gas light comes on…followed by the check engine light. I am not angry. I breathe and thank God that I have a car to drive today. At this moment dear sweet toddler realizes he forgot his beloved choo-choo train on the front porch. The baby starts crying. I brace myself, waiting for dear sweet toddler to become dear sweet hot mess. But instead he softly begins to sing, “There is power in the name of Jesus” (dare is power in da name of Chee-sus). Over and over again, in that precious toddler voice; it is sweet, soft and innocent. I pause, breathing it in. Thank You Lord. There is power in Your Name.