After sharing a short testimony at a prayer time, Janis asked me to write a guest blog. I’m so happy to be able to share how God answered my prayer to conquer anger.
Each issue that causes us to nurture anger within is so similar in so many ways that to tell the specifics and cause isn’t necessary for this testimony. ~ Elizabeth.
We welcome this guest post from Elizabeth.
Can I Dump my Anger?
At first my anger and hurt came easily. It was delicious to unwrap yet another angle of what had happened and savour it. But after a few weeks, my mind became trained by repetition to constantly throw angry thoughts into its forefront. I couldn’t break the pattern and what was sweet had become bitter. My own thoughts were exhausting and repugnant to me but like a broken record they played over and over.
“But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears” (Psalm 18:6 NLT).
Because God created me to be a visual artist, He knew what I needed. Just as I shut my eyes to pray again for help, God placed a simple image of a rain barrel in my mind that has helped me cope often since that day.
The outside of the barrel was a lovely turquoise but a look at its holdings revealed green sludge and algae. Full to the brim and ready to crack, the rain barrel symbolized me and the sludge within was my anger.
The barrel sat at the edge of a hill and I knew what I had to do. I pushed on the rain barrel as hard as I could while my frustration and tears slopped out and ran down. One more huge push toppled the barrel and the stagnant slime gushed down the hill, leaving me an empty vessel to be filled with greater care.
The scene reminded me of an illustration I had been working on from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Find the illustration at www.intoabookbybee.com.
When Christian looked to the cross he finally lost his burden of sin as it rolled down the hill and into the sanctuary. We can echo Christian in his praise for the One who frees us from our binding sin when we look to the cross and ask.
“Thus far did I come loaden with my sin,
Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in,
Till I came hither. What a place is this?
Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the burden fall from off my back?
Must here the strings that bound it to me, crack?
Blessed Cross! Blessed Sepulchre! Blessed rather be
The man that there was put to shame for me.”
-Christian (in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress)
Elizabeth is a visual artist who is striving to be more involved in the children’s book industry through illustrating and writing. She and her husband live in Port Perry, Ontario where she also enjoys oil painting during her downtime. Visit her sites at www.elizabethmichel.com and www.intoabookbybee.com
Thanks Marijo for the comment. It is true. So often what God asks of us is for our own good.
I’m glad it was encouraging.
Our anger and bitterness kills US…. not the person it is directed towards – the most freeing thing we can do is give that backpack and smoldering anger to Jesus and ask His forgiveness – it is against Him and Him only that we sin… Great article!