The neighbors probably didn’t know what to think as they looked out their windows at me one wintry day. I was standing in the driveway with a garden shovel clutched in my hands, whacking wildly and angrily at a clump of ice that had formed beneath a corner gutter. With each smack, I was uttering prayers that were variations on one theme: “I can’t do this.” “You can’t expect me to do this.” “I don’t have the strength to do this.” As a caregiver, with a long list of responsibilities to handle, I now had this ice to deal with, and I had had enough!
My anger was wrapped around a bundle of lies: “I deserve better than this.” “God isn’t enough after all.” “Nobody cares anyway.” But when we choose to cling to our anger, we become mired in the trap of bitterness, never moving forward. And the only cure for anger is truth.
The truth is that God does not give us what we deserve; He gives us mercy instead. “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you” (Ps. 86:5). The truth is that God is more than enough, despite what we see. The truth is that His strength is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9). Yet before we can find such reassurance, we may need to step back, lay down the shovel of our own efforts, and take Jesus’ hand that’s extended to us in mercy and grace.
God is big enough to listen to our anger and loving enough to show us, in His time, the path forward.
Loving God, forgive me for my outbursts of anger. Today I choose to lay down my sinful anger and accept Your mercy and grace. Thank You for forgiveness and for truth that leads to wisdom.
Shelly Beach is the author of several books, including Precious Lord, Take My Hand: Meditations for Caregivers.
Grace: Getting what we don’t deserve.
Mercy: Not getting what we do deserve.
The psalms are often read as windows to the soul—songs that reflect the reality of our emotions and struggles. They encourage us to understand that God can handle our honesty as we express ourselves to Him. Yes, God is big enough to absorb our anger and listen to our complaints, but we must not overlook the context in which the writers of the psalms expressed their feelings. In today’s passage, over and over David recognizes his place in relationship to God. He acknowledges that he is “poor and needy” (v. 1), he is faithful to God and trusts in Him (v. 2), and he is God’s “servant” (v. 4). It is important that we understand who we are in relationship to God when we bring our hurts and struggles to Him. J.R. Hudberg