Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Water Always Wins

Think about it...

Water always wants to escape the space that it has been put in.

It will stay nicely in any container, until it finds a crack or a hole or a split... and the escape will begin. If there is a source for water, it will continue to grow in volume... you can put a pot under the leak in the ceiling... but it won't stop leaking. In fact, the water will continue to grow until the pot is overflowing... and makes a big mess.

A patch or a dam will hold back water temporarily... but it won't last forever. If it would, we would build dams and walk away. But we can't. We have to tend to them and keep them up. It is hard work to keep water in its place! You can put a patch on the hole in the ceiling, but the water will just wear it away until the leak comes through again.

Water molecules are attracted to each other. Think I'm making that one up? I learned it on Mr Wizard when I was a kid. Fill a glass with water and add more, a drop at a time... the water will make a dome over the top of the cup until it can't be held back any longer and eventually spills over the edges. 

Recently I realized... Anger is like water.

It's crazy how something that seems so manipulable at times... so easy to smoosh down into a small, dark place inside of us so that nobody can see it... will eventually overflow from that place... and we will be helpless to stop it or hide it.

As long as there is anger inside, it will attract more anger. Negative feelings of any kind will collect with the anger and fuel the anger.

We can patch over the anger... pretend it doesn't exist... but it isn't permanent.

Don't get me wrong... Anger is an emotion that Jesus felt. Being angry isn't wrong.

"The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” John 2:13-16

It isn't bad to get angry... the problems come when we harbor that anger. Problems for us, problems for others, problems for our spirit...

"Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!  Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.Psalms 37:8

or, I like this one too... 

"For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife." Proverbs 30:33

Just like there is no easy maintenance-free way to keep water from winning, there is no easy maintenance free way to keep anger from winning... You have to be willing to get rid of it... to let it go.

Ha! I said "you have to be willing..." as if I'm writing this for someone else. In reality, this is for me just as much as anyone. I used to instantly "forgive" people who hurt me... without truly understanding what that meant. I would let them right back into my life... whether they apologized or not in some cases. 
What I didn't realize for a long time was that I wasn't really forgiving anyone... I was taking that anger and shoving it down deep inside and pretending it didn't exist... and we know how that works with water... in the mean time, the anger inside was attracting other anger... little things would cause me to explode... which was weird because... I didn't think I was angry.

I have learned a lot about how to truly forgive and still guard myself from being hurt again... My anger issues are infinitely better than they used to be... but I don't think I know anyone who doesn't struggle with anger one way or another.

Thank goodness we have a God who understands and helps us rid our lives of things that aren't good for us... including anger.

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