There once was a man who was normally a very calm and agreeable person. Until one day, when his wife left him, his business went bankrupt because his partner and best friend stole all the assets of the company and ran off with the secretary, his mother died, and his son was arrested, all within one week.
The poor man felt pummeled by the world and became angry. He paced and fretted and cursed, brooding over all the overwhelming circumstances in his life. He stomped around his property, raising his fist at God and blaming Him for all that happened.
One day, he went out to the back edge of his property to vent to God about all that was on his heart. On his good days, the man loved this spot. A fence ran along the edge of the property line and, beyond the fence, the property dropped off in a jagged cliff that vanished into a river below.
The man loved to look out at the beauty of the flowing river as it rippled its way downstream. The view always managed to calm him, to wash away his troubles, just as all the debris in the river floated downstream and disappeared around the bend.
But this was not one of the man’s good days. This day, he was furious; he had fretted and fumed for days. And each day fanned his fiery temper even more. He did not know how to let go of his worries and frustrations.
The man was so incensed, he started kicking the fence. It broke in umpteen pieces and made a big gap in the fence. The more he kicked, the more he became enraged. His anger so consumed him that he didn’t realize what he was doing and he fell through the hole and off the edge of the cliff into the river, floating downstream and disappearing around the bend.
So, what is our takeaway from this little story?
First of all, don’t shake your fist at God. Job’s friend Eliphaz said the wicked man is the one who “clenches his fist against God, defying the Almighty, stubbornly assaulting him.” (Job 15:25 TLB)
If we let our anger fester, we will teeter on the brink of self-indulgent emotions and get precariously close to the cliff of self-destruction. If we step over that line of God’s protection, we will fall through His fence to that rushing river below, carrying us along where we do not want to go.
Paul told the Ephesian church, “If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge. Don’t let the sun go down with you still angry-get over it quickly; for when you are angry, you give a mighty foothold to the devil.” (Eph. 4:26-27 TLB)
If a multitude of things come against us as the man in the story and we do get angry with God, we can be comforted that He is always forgiving if we repent.
I know many are going through very trying times with a multitude of problems. I’m praying for you, dear ones.
Just as the river was calming to the man, so the river of living waters will calm your anguished soul and wash away the debris of your life. The Lord will soothe your aching heart with His Words of life.
Allow your anger, trials, and frustrations to float downstream and disappear around the bend. The Lord will soothe your aching heart. His presence will overshadow it all.