I used to have a really bad temper.
Flying off the handle.
A willingness to fight.
There have been times in my life when those things could have been and were an apt description.
Not always, but definitely some.
I have never been proud of my hot-headed tendencies. I have often fought and won against them.
But not always.
Unfortunately, the ones I love have more often either been in the crosshairs or innocent bystanders with collateral damage.
Either way it hurts.
I am not going to tell you that my temper is no more.
As soon as I did, some situation would arise to put the lie to my words.
But, I have matured.
I have changed.
My volatility is nothing like it was in the past.
These days I am learning the art of asking myself an all important question: Does this really matter enough to lose my cool?
Still, there is room to grow.
Not losing my temper needs to become having greater patience.
Being more tolerant. Exhibiting mercy.
Being a conduit of grace.
I am so glad God is still working in me…
Having said all of that, I still struggle with anger.
I still wrestle with resentment.
I still want answers.
I still get mad at God.
I am glad He loves me enough to be patient.
I am glad His tolerance is much better than mine.
I am thankful for His mercy.
I am gratified by His grace.
I am learning to live with the non-answers.
I am learning to trust God’s love even when I cannot comprehend.
I am learning how to still worship… even when the oceans rise and thunders roar. (Still by Hillsong United)
I wish I was the only one with unanswered questions.
I wish I was the only with with anger.
I wish I was the only who has ever been mad at God.
But I am not.
These days I too often meet fellow travelers.
Or, hear of those who have joined this fraternity of pain, doubt, and questions.
I wish I had the answers we both want.
How I wish I did.
But some answers are never to be.
And in truth, we both know that the answers will never undo the pain or repair the damage.
But, from my perspective almost two years out from the horror of October 10, 2011, I’d like to share with you a passage of scripture that gives me comfort, hope, and a little bit of peace.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
1 Corinthians 13:12-13, (The Message)
In your pain, with your doubt, and in spite of your unanswered questions, do your best to love.
In the act of loving, redemption and relief can often be found…
I am thankful for the love shown to me.
I am thankful for the blessing of loving you in return.
Les Ferguson, Jr.