Translation – And Along Came My Anger

I was looking at the photo gallery of my smart phone. Although I do frequent backups, there are some pictures that I just don’t like to delete. And I found photos of a few days before, a week before, a month before, two months before, etc. And for the first time since my diagnosis I was angry. I was angry because I wanted back “my life”, “my smile”, “my problems” (which now seemed much more bearable), and “my world”. I wanted exactly what I had before the diagnosis. Moreover, that same day my dear son had two seizures in a period of 4 hours and recording the details in the seizure log was particularly painful. Then it came as a wave, it came that feeling…and along came my anger.
I’ve been reading two kinds of books during this season: books of testimonies and books of theology and doctrine. The first ones encourage my faith and the second ones keep me focused. These are excerpts of what I was reading that day:

1) From the book “An Honest Look at a Mysterious Journey” from John & Joanna Stumbo

It is possible to take our grief too far. I appreciated Job’s honesty: “I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul” (10:1). Yet, I wondered, Doesn’t there have to be a limit somewhere? I can grieve my loss and vent my frustration, but where is the line that I should not cross? I found it plainly detailed in Job’s story, twice: “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing” (1:22). “‘Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said” (2:10). Somehow, in the midst of my honest wrestling and angry emotion, I must learn from Job’s example and stop short of finding fault with God. He is good. He can be trusted . . . even when I don’t understand or appreciate what He is up to.

2) From the book “The Discipline of Grace” by Jerry Bridges

“To preach the gospel to yourself, then, means that you continually face up to your own sinfulness and then flee to Jesus through faith in His shed blood and righteous life.”  You can use the Scripture to preach the gospel to yourself. For example,
Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them” (Romans 4:7-8)

The first reading was obviously related to my feelings that day and it gave me a reason for prayer: “Lord, help me to find that limit. As Job did, I want to stop short of finding fault with you oh Lord”.  Well, this was assuming that it was not too late already.

But the second reading was the answer to this and all my dilemmas. I contemplated the Cross again and once again I concluded that there is no distress, anger, cancer or seizure that can beat the beauty of the Cross. I’m blessed as Romans 4 states because my transgressions are forgiven; my “going too far” moments are not count against me. All this is possible because Christ lived a perfect life in my place, and suffered the Cross (including my illness, loss and pain) without “going too far”, also on my behalf. Christ lived and suffered perfectly. So, although I’m human and imperfect, I can fully rest in Christ’s finished work. Even for those moments when I don’t know how to grieve, the Heavenly Father sees me through Christ and his perfect suffering.

There is hope for those who have taken their grief “too far”. There is hope for those who are angry. There is hope for those who do not understand God’s plan. There is hope for those who do not like the process. There is hope for those who are wrestling. There is hope through Christ. There is hope because there is grace.

That night I had a good night’s sleep.

Becky

 
All rights reserved. Rebecca Parrilla April/2015