perfect strangers on the Internet, quite another to offend a friend, a fellow believer and worshipper. It causes one to pause and listen to that small, still voice deep inside, to ask why, when you really don’t understand. But introspection is good for the soul and the issue cannot just lie there, passing through the night, without being mentioned and addressed unless it is of no value.
I’m extremely tired as I write this, so you’ll forgive any spelling errors or grammar that is even worse than normal. Fact is, I just couldn’t sleep last night and am in great turmoil about a lot of things at the moment. In our Bible class, I speak often of transparency and that we should try to live our lives in the open. It isn’t easy, thus most of us do not try. But in preaching, I must practice and I shall, to the best of my ability, even when uncomfortable. SU and I often talk about the harshness of life, how it is in your face and will not back down, will not submit to your will. Only when we recognize and apply our knowledge of this is life free and open. But never easy, always challenging.
So, in the early morning hours, I turned to the one thing that has sustained me for many years, although some that have known me for many years question that from time to time. I turned to the Word, to prayer, asking for wisdom to see me through yet another valley I have created. As I read Paul’s letter to the people of Galatia, he outlines for them what happens when we allow the Spirit to control us and what happens when we don’t. In re-reading the objectionable post about illegal aliens marching in our streets raising the flag of another country, it is clear that I was not following the lead of the Holy Spirit, demonstrating several of the works of the flesh mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21a, which reads as follows:
5:19Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, 5:21 envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things.
In this case, at least 2 show up, probably a couple more. For these transgressions, I have asked for forgiveness from the Father. Paul continues by showing us the things that will show forth in our lives as we allow the Holy Spirit to control us:
5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 5:23 gentleness, and self-control.
Obviously, there was no self-contol exhibited in my rage. For this, I have asked forgiveness from the Father and I also, now, ask for forgiveness from anyone that I offended in my rage.
I do not know how to quell the rage within about this issue and continue to seek peace from the Father. I do not know why the sight of people marching in the streets with the flags of another country causes such turmoil within. After all, I have not been forced to serve in our military to give them this freedom. Perhaps that gives me a clue, perhaps it is based upon some misguided guilt that I should have served. As I think about the millions of mostly men that have given their lives and limbs so that I might be free, yes, it is most likely my guilt that causes the rage. For that too, I shall pray for peace.
I do know that economics fuel part of my rage. These marches appeared in the news the day that I received our tax return back from the CPA and I was horrified to see the amount of money that the various governments have required us to give them. As I dreamt about the shiny new car SU could be driving, the new furniture we could have, the new flooring we desperately need, the genuine 1939 Martin I could have purchased or the money I could have in the bank, I just wanted to scream. I could go on and on about paying and paying. Mostly, I worry about the future for my children and their children. And I know that worrying too is a sign of unbelief, of less than pure faith, for as Jesus said:
Matthew 6:25 â€œTherefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isnâ€™t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? 6:26 Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Arenâ€™t you more valuable than they are? 6:27 And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life? 6:28 Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin. 6:29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 6:30 And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, wonâ€™t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? 6:31 So then, donâ€™t worry saying, â€˜What will we eat?â€™ or â€˜What will we drink?â€™ or â€˜What will we wear?â€™ 6:32 For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 6:33 But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 6:34 So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.
So for now, I’ll just ask for help from the Father to understand my life, my purpose and yes, my rage, for only in understanding can I truly be free. Late.