Adversity

There is the old saying, “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.”  Well, look out, Superwoman is on her way…!!!

I pondered my day, looking for something witty, inspirational, or just interesting to talk about.  All I could see was at least five pretty big problems crop up, one after another.  This past week saw its share of difficulties, also.

I checked myself out.  Yep, I’m still standing.  I’m madder than heck at one of the problems, but my overall attitude is fairly okay.  And I made an error in paperwork that may have me hiding from others until I make repairs.  Yep, still standing!  So, I must be learning how to deal with adversity.  Or I may be learning how to pass it on up.  Years ago, I would cup my hands together, symbolically put my troubles in them, and lift them up to heaven (wherever that is).  “Take the whole miserable bunch of them.  They are too heavy for me to carry.  You can do a much better job than I can,” I would say.

Nowadays, arthritis hampers me a little, so I make the mental gesture in a quick shortcut.  Funny, how many shortcuts I have to prayer as I grow older…  Just like an old married couple that doesn’t need to hear the end of the others sentences to know what they are saying.  Am I saying I am married to God?  Well, yeah, I guess you could say that in a sense.

I have learned how to do all I can, and then wait upon God.  I believe someone made the Serenity Prayer out of that concept.  Vengeance is definitely His.  I just don’t have the strength to bring judgement to anyone, nor can I handle the guilt, fear, and hated that results from trying it.  However, I did have some pretty strong images of what I would like to do about my anger problem today.  I thought about David crying out for help in the Psalms, especially Psalm 69, where he got downright hostile and called for his enemy’s destruction.  The New Testament countered that by saying to love your enemies.

David’s prayer is called a imprecatory prayer.  An imprecatory prayer is not about personal revenge, but about a national injustice, an evil that must be stopped, and about honoring God’s name and standards.  Such devastation has been in the news lately.  Many believe it’s okay to pray for the destruction of those responsible.  I think about my anger today.  “Naah, doesn’t fit that category.  Sounds like personal revenge to me.  Guess I’d better get those hands up in the air again…”

Anger, and sin not?