The world tells me that I am entitled to my emotions and how they play out as long as I don’t hurt anyone else.
I sat in my room. Anger and frustration piled high behind an avalanche of unkind thoughts. Even in this heated moment, The Lord revealed the lie feeding my emotions. God does not invite me to linger in sinful self-pity.
My focus must be on honoring the Lord in difficult moments rather than indulging in an emotional release. But how? How do I move from frustrated and angry toward worshipful thanksgiving and praise? How do I move from dutiful obedience to heart-driven joyful action?
I pulled out my journal and started writing.
Why God? Why is it so hard? Why is it so difficult to parent? To teach? To reach? I’m trying, but I just keep hitting this same wall. I can’t seem to break through this barrier.
As I wrote out my thoughts, my heart started to soften. I remembered the day we adopted each one of our children. I remembered the day we realized how God had crafted each one individually and that each one would face their own specific challenges in working out their faith and growing up. I thanked God.
Thank you, Lord, for trusting my children to me. You could have given them to any family in this entire world, and you chose us. Why? I know I am weak. I am easily frustrated. Yet, you chose me. Maybe because you knew the very thing that might drive some others into resentment and tempt them to lash out would drop me to my knees. Maybe because you knew these kids needed these kinds of prayers. Maybe, because out of all the people in the entire world, you knew I needed them to sand off my rough edges and putting us together would sanctify us and stir us to pursue more of You.
I need them, they need me, and we need Jesus.
Just like that, the anger was gone. The avalanche of unkindness had melted into a river of love. It is impossible to stay angry with the person for whom you are praying.
Pray. Pray hard. Pray long. Pray faithfully until God changes YOUR heart. He will as He aligns it with His.
*Image by Ian Schneider. Used with permission. Unsplash.com