Help God Put Out the Fire

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Then Judah came near to him and said: “O my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s hearing, and do not let your anger burn against your servant. Gen. 44:18, NKJV.

Anger is like a volcano. It’s unpredictable. Underneath, things boil and tension mounts, and either it vents its fury a little at a time, or it blows. Either way, watch out!

For example, consider the 15-year-old boy with no father and a mother who doesn’t know how to handle him. He picks on his younger brother, gets in fights at school, and has failing grades, even though he has no learning problem. Dealing with anger that has built up over a lifetime of pain and frustration is like trying to hold the lid on a pressure cooker.

Anger is fairly common in people who have experienced a less-than-ideal home life. When a marriage breaks up, children feel as if they have been robbed of what life should have given them, and they are angry at those they think caused it. “If Mom hadn’t screamed at Dad, he wouldn’t have left.” Or “Everything was fine until junior came along and the folks started fighting.”

The longer such smoldering anger remains, the more chance that it will spill over into other relationships. If that happens, it can cause conflict, rejection, or alienation.

A person may express anger overtly, by yelling or hitting, or covertly, by rebelling, destroying things, or refusing to speak. Talking the anger out is better than acting it out. That’s why counseling is so important.

Give God a chance to work. I have seen children healed from anger by Mom or Dad going into the child’s room at night, placing their hands on that sleeping child, and praying in the name of Jesus. Ask God to send His spirit of peace upon children, to put a hedge of protection around them and fill their minds with love, replacing the bitter anger that has burned there so long.

Too often we get discouraged and give up too soon. We forget that God can heal the mind as well as the body. Remember the demoniac (Matt. 8:28-34)?

Why put up with a smoldering volcano when you, along with professional help and God, can put out the fire?

Think of someone you know (perhaps yourself) who shows signs of smoldering anger. What could you do to help put out the fire?

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.