I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. I needed a break. So the other morning I rested, but it wasn’t in bed or on the couch or in the bathtub. Sometimes, at the end of the evening, my five year old son climbs up into my lap just to fall asleep. He doesn’t want anything from me… not to play, not a snack and not a DVD to watch either. He just needs a place that is safe and restful. So this morning I climbed into the arms of the Lord in restful prayer. I just calmed my mind and let my heart and worries rest in God’s grace. I didn’t ask for anything… not guidance, not answers, not even blessings. Just rest. And the Lord let my heart be still and He restored me. Once I was rested and calm He began to speak to my conscience…
You are a violent man. Well. That was a short rest.
But even a short rest in the presence of the Father is like sleeping in for a week straight.
Don’t you see how violent and restless your heart is when you don’t get your way, when you are not in control? Look at your heart, what do you see?
And of course, He was right. I saw unresolved violence there.
Over the years the Lord has healed many of my wounds. Now He began to dig deeper.
Those that know me might be surprised by this assessment. I appear patient on the outside maybe even serene. But inside, sometimes very, very deep, even to the point where I am not conscious of it, I am violent. Rarely, it comes to the surface… I lose my temper and I lash out. Perhaps my “lashing out” is mild compared to others, but maybe not. Either way it is a repulsive sensation, and thankfully it never lasts too long. And in my restful prayer, in silence, God began to address it. He knew He needed to find me in a time of rest and peace to get this message through. It was in fact the best moment.
Controlling violence by my own force of will only leads to false humility. I must look for true restoration, not more levels of complexity. If I lead with my aggression then God’s grace can never shine through. This inner process of transformation can then be expressed outwardly to transform my environment and hopefully inspire others. This is how we become the light of the earth.
Sometimes we must express our frustrations, but when, where and how are crucial. If I vent at the expense of another then I am in error. If I infect my family with the virus of aggression then I am being a poor steward.
I do not mean to imply that followers of Christ should be wimpy. But in His presence we must be docile and all our barriers must be brought down to let His Spirit take control. And here we find true boldness, courage and strength which conquer any of our insecurities.