Hi Jean. God bless you.
God bless you too
I have just had the funniest conversation with your dad.
Really? About what?
He said you told him that your sisters only call you when allowed by God and they have something useful to say.
I did. Do you know what he asked me?
And I quote, ‘Does that mean that God can block your conversations?’
What did you say?
‘Yes! but that is a discussion for another day.’
What? You told him that?
I didn’t want to go into it that day.
I was still thinking about the reality that God can restrain me from talking to someone I really want to talk to.
Has it happened?
Happened? It happens all the time.
Who is it related to?
What do you mean everyone?
I don’t know about you, but as I have been looking back at my life, I have noticed a pattern.
If it is not time for me to speak to someone, I will be unable to find them and they me.
Remember last week when we kept trying to call each other?
Of course! It was so frustrating because I would call and miss you or you call and I couldn’t pick.
Did you think it was odd?
Not really! I just thought we were busy.
Ok, think carefully, were you too engaged not to hear or see the call?
Actually no! I could have picked it if I was more attentive or I could have called you back later; kept trying to reach you.
After a couple of times, I stopped and asked God what was going on.
It came back to why I was calling you.
Why were you calling me?
To rant, rave and whine.
Now it is nothing serious but I had just had a run-in with someone and I wanted to get it off my chest and be proven right.
Were you proved right?
Well, I came to understand that in my perspective I was indeed right about the situation but dead wrong about the reason for what had happened.
What do you mean?
Like I said, I had a run in with someone and I wanted to validate my response and that is what I was focusing on. However, God was more interested in why my response was so intense and what was making me so angry. At the time I didn’t realise that I was that angry; I thought I was just mildly upset. Later that day, the same person reached out to me and I exploded.
There were underlying issues I wasn’t dealing with that severely limited my perspective.
Did blowing up help?
Yes, it provided momentary relief but in the long run it potentially irreversibly escalated things and I was shocked that I could behave like that.
I suddenly realised that the reason for being angry was off course.
I was more upset with my reaction to the situation than I was with the person. I was angry because I couldn’t find someone to vent with. I was angry that God would not allow me to speak to the people I wanted me to speak. Yet I had forgotten one key thing…
What is that?
My first point of call should always be God.
What do you mean?
When anything happens, I need to reach out to God first and clear things up with Him before I call others or explode. You know how we are told to breathe before we respond to anything? My breathe should be a look at God and listen to what He has to say.
Why should that be?
In His scheme of things, everything has a reason and time under the sun, nothing happens by mistake or without His knowledge. Seeing that He is all knowing and all wise, why should I seek others input before I seek His?
Wow! I’d never thought about it that way.
Well! Neither had I. I had always thought that when I have the mind of Christ then my responses would always be the right responses. I realise that I am still working to the place of perfection in Him and when perfection fully comes He will exit me into His presence. Since I am still here, I need to learn to clear things with Him first before seeking the opinions and thoughts of others.
Are you saying it is bad to talk things over with people?
No! I am saying I need to talk to God first about all things, understand the lesson and reason for the situation, understand what kind of response is needed and then He will direct me to the right person to talk things over with if need be.
So there are times He will restrain you from speaking to someone?
Absolutely! Last week was a case in point.
So you are saying I am a bad influence?
Nope! From how I know you, our responses would have been quite similar and I would have felt justified by my actions yet God wanted this run in to show me a side of me that still needed work.
So the restraint is all about you?
Yes! The restraint is all for my good and growth.
You know you sound odd right?
I know that for sure! It sounded odd to me the first time till I really sat with God and unpacked it.
Sounds like you had a great conversation over a cup of coffee.
Something like that…He talked while I drank the coffee.
Anyway, seriously…I would have taken longer to get to this place of understanding me if I had found you or any of the girls at that moment.
Are you glad He restrained you?
Right now absolutely.
Nope! Pure joy!
I still don’t get why God would block conversation when we need to release the steam. Does he expect us to keep it in?
God know that releasing steam is important; He just wants us to release it in the right way and in the right place.
Ok…so there is a wrong and right way to releasing steam now?
What is the rule?
God deals with us as He created us. For the one He created silent there is a right way that doesn’t involve recoiling as usual. For the vocal one, there is a right that may not involve speaking it out on the spot. Each of us has to temper our lives according to how he created us. The one thing I have come to understand is that I must take it to Him first and then He will direct how else I deal with it.
How did He direct this last time?
I needed to apologise.
Wait! Earlier you said the reason you were angry was justified right?
Now you are saying you needed to apologise?
I needed to apologise for how I responded.
It was the right thing to do.
How do people know we are true believers?
By our love for God and the world around us.
So how can they know by our love when we are spewing anger at them and others?
But the person deserved it from what you have said.
Never the less, how much is achieved with angry words?
Not much I guess.
Wasn’t there another way I could have said the same thing without exploding?
So, if I called you and told you what had happened would you have encouraged me to apologise or said it is the fault of the other person?
I would never have encouraged you to apologise for sure.
So you see how I really didn’t need to talk to you at that moment?
Wow! I do!
Would I have realised I needed to apologise if I just talked to you? Most probably not; I would have been convinced my response was right. In all truth, what that guy did wasn’t right but I didn’t have to behave as I did and nothing would ever justify that behaviour.
So God stopped us from speaking and kept you in a corner till you stopped, heard and obeyed?
Something like, and it wasn’t just with you.
What do you mean it wasn’t just with me?
Well, each time I tried to share the situation with someone they would be too distracted to listen or they didn’t see the big deal. Finally, I spoke to Suzanne and she asked me so many questions I realised I needed to square this with God first so that is where I went. I soon saw myself as He saw me and I realised that I needed to realign and so the work began.
Is the work done?
Not by a long shot, but I am a work in progress.