This is another of those personal blogs from yours truly, brother Al. Yesterday (Aug. 31st) was not a good day for me. Using the analogy of a storm, I would say my day started out rather sunny and peaceful. I was looking forward to being at my desk studying, praying and writing. In the afternoon I would be out in the woods chopping wood. I then would treat myself by watching the Golden Gophers play their first game against Buffalo. But then came the storms.
These were two emotional storms that got the best of me. The first storm involved my dear bride and I having an altercation, which I always dislike, because I get resentful and feel like a failure. The second storm involved the grader coming by, plowing our gravel road, resulting in dusting being stirred up by passing cars. I was under the assumption that the grader would not grade in front of our place. After the grader went by I got angry over the prospects of having to deal with dust. How trivial compared to Hurricane Harvey. I had been broadsided by two storms.
I was not be the same for the rest of the day. I was constantly reminded of Eph 4:27-28: “Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry- but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.” Men, with all my heart I want to grow in Christlike character and in holiness. But on the 31st I was broadsided by storms. Sometimes l weather them in fine fashion, but on this occasion I failed miserably.
For what is’t worth, here are some learnings from your truly, who has navigated many emotional storms over the years, but is still needing grace and mercy for continual storms. First, for the most part I have learned to admit to myself that I am angry. I was able to process my anger in an open space of my soul, rather than deny the storm within. David said, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent” (Ps 4:4).
Secondly, I knew from the beginning of the storm that I had to ask forgive from my wife and to forgive the country supervisor for his policy. Forgiving the supervisor took some doing. I worked in the woods all afternoon, clewing on my resentment for his decision. By the end of the day, I was able to let the man go. I am learning that the Lord is “a refuge from the storm.” Holding on to resentment would only cause the storm to linger longer, settling as a cancer in my soul. Today (1st) I am ready to ask my wife for forgiveness. If I don’t it would erect a barrier between us.
Thirdly, it takes time. This is not easy for me to admit. I thought I was strong enough spiritual to weather storms. I was wrong. I have a long ways to go. It takes time for God to form the soul, and it takes time to get over emotional storms
Fourthly, the distaste for these storms. I don’t like what I feel and experience during these storms, especially when I know they are of my own making. It makes me what to “grow up” in the Lord
Fifthly, the storm has mostly passing in my heart and soul. I thank God that I can make confess of my unspiritual behavior due to this self-inducted storm. I pray I will be more mature and vigilant for the next emotional storm that will surely come.