“Whenever you are tempted to grumble,
come to Me and talk it out. As you open up to Me,
I will put My thoughts in your mind.”
As a pastor, I’m called upon to create sermons each week. And one particular Sunday morning, I felt like I had a good handle on the sermon I would be giving in a couple of hours. I’d just battled a short bout of sickness, and I was beginning to perk up and have some energy. I was ready and felt pretty good about the message I planned to give.
But on the way to church, the good feelings disappeared when I learned some disturbing news about a friend I care about deeply. Both my wife and I had spent significant hours and energy to encourage this person to walk in a better direction. It hit me hard that they had willfully strayed off the path after we had invested so much time in them.
I was in an angry place
As we drove, I began to rattle off the indignant speeches I might have given this person. And by the time we got to the church building, I had worked myself into an angry place. I know myself pretty well by now and that morning, I knew couldn’t deliver the sermon I wanted to while I felt that angry. I needed to air out my feelings raw and unedited.
I went around and grabbed a couple of guys I’ve spent countless hours with over the years, men I trust as a sounding board. When we got alone, I spewed my angry thoughts about the situation. They heard me and held my anger without judgment.
I talked to God
After I’d sputtered out, I found a private spot and told God what He already knew. And as I talked to Him, my mad and offended ego turned sad and humble. By the time I was called up to the podium, I had released that grumbling spirit, and the message I had planned to give flowed as it should that day, energized by anger no longer.
“You may talk to Me as much as you like
about the difficulty of the path we are following.
I understand better than anyone else the stresses and strains
that have afflicted you.”
He hears our frustrations
Anger is a powerful emotion, and it can sweep us away if we let it. But when we talk to God about what’s bothering us, we can see things from His perspective. He hears our frustrations, He understands us. And when we take the time to step away and consult with Him instead of acting on impulse, we move our ego out of the driver’s seat and put God there instead, allowing Him to direct our path forward.