“Come to Me. all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
I was born wrapped in her; struggled my way out of her clasp in the early days of our marriage.
I never knew anger to be a snake that slithers to slaughter your sense of peace.
Or that one strike is all it takes to annihilate any sense of calm.
I’m not trying to deny it, and I’m not proud of it.
I know the way she’d come — how she’d rear her ugly head in the scene of my home, sneak right in under the fold of my skin. The way my voice would escalate, my face contorts, my heart hardens…
Anger is often short, but sharp.
There are fireworks of the heart— when they explode, they make you feel so exposed.
And there are words you spew in anger that you can never lick back.
There’s this man I see from the camera of my home.
A neighbour who has had to sleep — (not just for a few nights, but many months now) — in the confine of his car, the squashed space of his seat, and the lonesome silence of many nights, right there at the front of my street.
I thought he was stalking us.
Turned out his wife had been angry with him.
Can we really find calm in a sea of chaos, live under one roof with imperfect beings?
Can people really change, basic temperaments morph, and characters transform?
Can red-faced mamas tame angry monsters and stay sane in the midst of dirty dishes and noisy children who won’t sleep and stay up too far too late into the night?
Whenever I throw the spanner in the works and my hands up in the air over the bitter waters of life — the waters ofMara — I have chosen to walk right into the place of wilderness where old habits, hangups, and hurts remain unredeemed.
“And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.” (Exodus 15:23)
So I repent, Lord:
Because whenever I stampede towards whatever I thought would relieve me with the respite I seek to find only bitter water sputtering out — and I’m spat out in dismay — I’ve fallen short to understand that it’s firstly my own bitterness that needs a thorough excavation.
What is it that I look forward to so expectantly that when realities differ, I grow bitter?
Can long lines, missed deadlines, dusted-off dreams, and awkward friendships nullify joy?
My husband; he’s jovial and often jokes with me about me being angry with my anger.
I think he really does get me (in a way).
He understands that there is this part of womanhood where common sense isn’t so common, and he’s happy to conform.
And he knows that on nights when we’re both threatened to take off with our car and sleep on the street, that the healing tree is already provided here.
“And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet…” (Exodus 15:25)
That there is a healing tree provided all along — the tree which is symbolic of the Cross of Calvary — the tree that is able to absorb all our bitter histories and transform them into our redeeming stories.
So that we know that He really knows.
He who understands the perils of poverty and the discomfort of dirt understands our challenges, and what it feels to be human, or how to love till your heart hurts and to give till your head spins.
Whenever we are angry — His healing tree is here for us.
You can hear Him whispering it gentle in the midst of loud screams: “What can change debase nature, stubborn angst, unresolved disputes, or utter brokenness? My Cross.”
His Cross bringing His presence which calms, comforts and cheers.
He’s with us on slow traffic roads or in bustling cities with hagglers and hasslers. He rides with us through turbulent bumps on our planes and there’s no need to be anxious, no reason to remain angry.
He’s here. He’s for us.
And so there’s no need to prove our point, state our mind, speak our piece or use anger as a ruse of control when really, everything is in His control.
And yeah, there’s no shame in feeling the feeling, or owning the emotion, but here’s the chance to be truly great:
To trust God to straighten things up that look and feel crooked.
To let grace be the antidote so anger, ageing and anxiety don’t have to be.
Because why do we spend so much time decluttering and decorating our abode when really our soul’s most urgent need is to display tranquility, a confident serenity?
So here we are letting go:
Letting go of allowing bad days, bad breaths, and bad hair-dos to determine our level of joy.
Letting go of comparison and contentiousness to determine our standard of contentment, such shallow happiness.
Letting go of feeling ripped off in life, believing that in Him — everything is rigged in and for our favour.
Letting go of fathers and father figures — of seeing yourself through them and deriving your delight in them, so Christ can somehow rule and you reign with Him.