Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - In Your Face Anger Management


Daniel 1:15-17 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead. To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.


Have you ever made the choice to do the right thing even when you didn't want to? Let me tell you a story. About a year ago, someone had done something to my family that I felt was inexcusable. I harbored anger for that person every day. That anger weighed on me and I would grit my teeth when talking to the Lord about it. As I was in the shower one morning, I began talking to God about this anger. I explained to Him how justified I was in being angry with this person. I went on and on about how good a person I was and how I had tolerated other bad behavior from this person before but that it had gone too far this time. I continued about how I had tried to be nice, tried to be a good friend . . . and then God spoke. He said to me: "Try again!". Now it wasn't really His voice - it was more like my voice - okay - it was my inner voice, but it was definitely God telling me what to do. How do I know? Because I never would have told myself to do that - I was living quite nicely in my anger. After my talk with God, I promised Him that I would do it. I asked Him to grant me some time to figure out a way to do it to be an example, humble example, for Him - but I promised I would. It took a week. A daily praying for wisdom and opportunity, but I did it. The weight was lifted from me and things seemed to clear - and I can't tell you the joy I felt from doing something God told me to do - that I didn't want to do - but I did it anyway because He told me to.

These four boys weren't immune to temptation. I imagine they wouldn't turn their noses up at a nice filet mignon. I think they prayed quite a bit over their situation and maybe justified how tough they'd had it, being kidnapped and all, and how they deserved a little "good" food. And Yet, they went with what they knew God wanted them to do. They were rewarded. They showed up the competition and the 'choice' food was replaced with vegetables and healthy options for everyone.

My story doesn't end there. On the day I made my promise to God that I would let my anger go and make amends, something more happened. We have always struggled financially. Pay to pay with little extra (four kids, it's always something). On this day when I showed up at my teaching job, I was asked if I would also start my class at another location in the fall (this would double that income for an extra hour a week). On the way home from class, I got a call from the WW Corporate office saying that they had a company that wanted to start up a meeting and would I take it. Which I did - and I love this group! God takes care of His people!

The boys didn't just win bragging rights, did you see what God blessed them with: "knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning". What an awesome skill to be blessed with. All because they did what they knew God wanted them to do. The truth is still the same today as it was over 2000 years ago - God takes care of His people!


On a side note: Thank you to those that are praying for Rebecca from the last post. The doctors pulled out a lime-sized tumor and are sending it off to be tested. The doctor did feel that it would be cancerous though, so they are going to start chemotherapy. The survival rate is 70%. We are so grateful to God for guiding the doctor through this dangerous surgery - but will you please continue to pray for her healing and her family during this stressful time?

3 wonderful insights:

Greg C said...

Wow this hits close to home for me and my family. Holding those grudges will hold you down as well. I have been getting many little blessings lately and have to thank God for all of them. I can't remember where I heard this but it is so true. When you turn lose those things that you have been holding on to, you open your hands and God fills them with blessings.

Chatty Kelly said...

Great post, and Greg's comment there just nailed it home. It's hard to let go of our JUSTIFIED anger, but God does have a better plan in mind, doesn't he?

BloggerMom said...

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