What Do I Have to Be Angry About?

Description

When we do what only we can do, God will do what only He can do—and the world will be changed.

"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy..." Psalm 30:11 (NIV)

When my girls were little, we had a love-hate relationship with kids' menus. I loved that they had creatures to color and that crayons were provided. However, it never failed that someone would color on someone else's sheet, and squeals and screams would have all heads turning our way.

Then, I would sit there in disbelief that my kids had caused such a fuss over colored-on menus. Menus that would soon be covered in ketchup and juice and tossed in the trash.

I thought about these menus last week. I thought about them at the strangest time.

I was standing on Hollywood Boulevard looking at the stars' Walk of Fame when a woman approached my friend, Amanda, looking for money.

It took my brain a few seconds to figure out why her face was familiar. So familiar. It was my friend from skid row, Juanita. We'd gotten Juanita off the streets the day before and taken her to the Dream Center. A safe place for her to detox and find healing.

But, less than 24 hours later, she'd walked away. Away from help. Away from hope. Away from restoration.

There she was begging for money to buy a bus ticket to get back to skid row. And in a city of 13 million people, somehow our paths crossed again. What are the odds? Surely it was a sign to her of how much God cares.

"Oh Juanita, why did you leave the Dream Center? Can I take you back? I can call for a Dream Center bus to come get you right now. Please, please let's go back." I asked Juanita. I begged Juanita. But she just shook her head and quietly whispered, "I have to go back to the streets 'cause I know where to put my blankets there. I don't know where to put my blankets anywhere else."

"To skid row?" I asked with tears brimming my eyes. She nodded.

I asked if we might pray for her. She agreed. We circled and prayed and then watched her walk off. Up to another to beg for money. And then another. Rejected most of the time. But slowly walking away-away-away.

It was in that moment that I thought of those stupid kid menus. Menus that were fought over. And then covered in ketchup and juice and tossed in the trash.

And my anger burned. Not at my kids. But at myself. And all the many dumb things I can find myself getting all bent out of shape about.

I am no more mature than my kids arguing over throw away menus. How dare I get angry over things so inconsequential? God, forgive me.

Yes, there are things that should make me angry. Like Juanita not knowing her whole life that she could put her blankets somewhere safe. And now the place she keeps returning to is skid row.

Heroin alley on skid row to be exact. Where pimps sell women to do unspeakable things in make-shift tents right on the street. And where kids play with dirty needles. And where teens are passed out with needles in their toes because they don't have veins good enough to shoot drugs into their arms.

Yes, there are things to get angry about today. But not slight inconveniences and little things that bump into my happy.

God help me and my kid menu life. If Psalm 30:11 is true in my life, that God has turned my wailing into dancing and removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, might I dare look for a way to help the Juanitas of the world.

Yes, might I dare help instead of getting in a huff over the small stuff.

Instead of being paralyzed by the enormity of the problems of this world, what if we all determined to do something? When we do what only we can do, God will do what only He can do—and the world will be changed.

Dear Lord, help me step outside my world and to see people with Your eyes. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:
Determine to not walk away from embracing a chance to help someone today.

Reflections:
Yes, there are things to get angry about today. But not slight inconveniences and little things that bump into my happy.

Power Verses:
Ephesians 4:29-32, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you." (NIV)

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