All of us are guilty of needing to control our anger at one time or another. This was one of those days for me. It all started with Zoe (my 6 year old) projectile vomiting down our hallway. Luckily, I have a carpet cleaner that I used to clean it up. Then, she had a diarrhea situation which involved me cleaning an entire toilet and scrubbing some of her clothing. As the day progressed, I egotistically claimed, “I’ve got this!” “Pride cometh before a fall” as it is stated in an Old Testament proverb. Since Zoe was feeling better by the afternoon, I asked her to help me clean the bathroom. I asked her to remove all of the items from the bathroom counter and shower so I could clean those areas. Little did I know that destruction was near. She grabbed the toilet bowl cleaner (I had failed to secure the lid) off the counter and in the process of moving it outside the bathroom, the blue liquid went all over the walls, floor and carpet. I quickly went into action cleaning it off the carpet before it turned a dark green carpet to white. After I accomplished cleaning the bathroom, I asked Zoe to put all the items away where they belonged. In the process of putting the items away, Zoe pretended to faint. When I asked her if everything was okay, she responded by shaking her head and in a low voice said, “You are not going to like this.” I started looking around to see what had happened. I found that she had knocked the lid off a gigantic bottle of body wash and half of it was embedded into the carpet. I had to Google how to remove liquid soap from the carpet. Despite 4 websites saying how easy it was, it took me over 3 hours to clean it up. Before I had finished cleaning up the body wash, I heard a loud crash of broken glass coming from the kitchen. Zoe bolted into the living room and hid under the coffee table. I looked in the sink and there was a drinking glass completely shattered with milk splashed all over the place. I made sure she was okay and Zoe explained that she thought an ant was crawling on her so she threw the glass in the sink.
At this point, I was ready to lose it. My patience level was at zero and my whole body ached from all of the scrubbing throughout the day. Zoe was supposed to be sick and she had caused some major catastrophes. I was supposed to be getting the gold star for being this great mom that wanted to make her daughter responsible and assist with chores. Instead, I ended up with hours of extra chores that I did not have time to do. I really needed to stop and pray before I started to get loud and tell my kids to go to bed early.
I just had to pause and ask God what to do. I was angry. God reminded me that He is patient with me and that He has told me to get up early in the morning so I can spend time with him. Sometimes, I choose to sleep longer and press snooze or look at my Facebook Newsfeed instead of do what He has asked me to do. I make him angry too.
What do we do with this anger that rages inside of us? What does God do with the anger that he feels towards us? In John 2:14-16, Jesus physically drove the animals out of the temple that were being sold, scattered the vendors’ money, overturned their tables and told them to get out of His Father’s House. Several verses in the Bible describe God as “slow to anger and abounding in love.” And then we read in James 1:19-20 (NIV), “19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (Sidenote: I highly recommend memorizing James 1 as it is packed with great verses.)
So God’s anger is different than man’s anger. His anger is slow to form and abounding with love while our sinful nature causes us to get angry quickly and sin in the process. We have to pause and make sure that we do not sin in the process of our anger building as it says in Ephesians 4:29 (NIV), “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out or your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” I am so glad that tonight I asked God for His guidance rather than going with my earthly desires as I have done in the past.