Last week, I read something online that made me incredibly angry. As usually happens when I read a news headline I want to post about but know it won’t be fruitful, or a social media post that tempts me to argue, all of my old desires for keyboard warfare came back. But, thankfully, God really changed my heart in this area and has taught me ways to deal with these temptations.
I’ve learned that the best method of dealing with this is to remind myself of God’s justice, His mercy, and all of the things He has done and will do. So while sometimes I’ll reach out to a close friend or my husband to share my opinion on the issue just to get it out, I will generally turn on my my Easter playlist on Spotify, and spend some time worshipping God in the middle of my kitchen.
I know it sounds a little odd. But it works! It’s hard to stay mad at anything temporal when you’re singing “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him… one little word shall fell him! YES AND AMEN!
So, last week, I put this method into practice once again. Afterwards, I was properly re-centered and went about my day, feeling rather good about life. You might even say I was feeling a small bit proud of myself for having shut that sin down.
And then our youngest decided not to nap.
Just the day before, I published my post about hindering my kids in their walk with Christ, and there I was absolutely losing my mind over my kid not napping. She’s only ten months old, so the finer points of my speech was lost on her but my attitude was not. I was mad. She cried. I got angrier as she cried. She cried more. Finally, in His mercy, God intervened with a phone call from my husband. We talked and prayed.
After we got off the phone, I tried to get her down again. As I was rocking her, God’s words to Cain popped into my mind:
The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” – Genesis 4:6-7
And later, reflecting on this whole episode, I was reminded of Peter’s admonition:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8
There I was in my kitchen that morning, thumbing my nose at Satan’s very face, singing brazenly that one little word would fell him. It never once crossed my mind that he would continue to prowl around my house seeking for a way to devour me. I was not watchful; I was proud. And not even proud for what God had done – I was proud of what I had done. And devour me Satan did, in a way.
Ironically, I sang about this very thing that morning:
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth is his name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
My striving was losing, but thankfully, Jesus’ is ultimately not. Because I am in Christ, nothing (not even precious naptime being lost!) will separate me from my God and my king because what Jesus has done for me. Thanks be to Christ Jesus!