Sunday, March 18, 2012

Putting the Hammer Down

Most of the time, my anger is from a place called Graceless. It's from a place that forgets that God is Love, and His mercy is the kind that does not run out. I'm surrounded by people who do ridiculous things, and recently, it was one of those people who really should have known better. I was so upset, you would have thought that they had sinned against me. I could feel the righteous anger boiling up inside me - zealot that I am - I was offended for God! I wanted to tell them off, in humble terms, and warn them of the forthcoming wrath of God. Then, out of nowhere, I felt this urge to stop and think (HATE it when that happens) : where was my annoyance coming from?

I find I think that people are using up God's patience, and fear (sometimes it's hope disguised as fear depending on the person) that they are going to really suffer because of it. But then I remember that God didn't run out of patience with me. I remember how it wasn't an angry explosion that turned me to Him, instead His love poured over me when I least deserved it had me so awestruck that I haven't stopped staring at Him since. I remember that Jesus' life wasn't given to a people crying for mercy, but to a people spitting at Him and laughing in His face. I remember that His love is one that I just can't understand.
So I did what I do when I'm willing to accept that I'm wrong. I prayed. "Lord, please help me not to be judgmental and accusing, not to be condemning. Help me to remember that they are Your children who You love. Help me to see them as You see them." I thought I was done, but another phrase came to my mind to ask God for: "help me to be a light and not a hammer." Mmmkay?

Then the breakdown: A light brightens a path so that people can find it and walk in it securely. It is an aide. A hammer sees something that needs fixing and BANG, puts it in its place. It is a hard, aggressive, forceful push. The hammer is not what God wants for us - He loves us too much - instead He says, this is the way, walk in it. That's how He wants us to treat each other. To be the light, make the path clear, show people how to walk in it by walking in it ourselves. The Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever. It's a familiar phrase, it's in almost every Psalm and in tons of other scriptures. The Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever. He is kind, His goodness doesn't have a limit, His love doesn't finish. Meditate on that. The Lord is good. His mercy endures. Forever.