Chase Away The Shadows, Lord

I’m sick of this angry world, man. As I’ve written before, I’ve spent so many years in anger, and frankly, it’s exhausting. I’m 50 years old, but feel twice that some days.

I’m not even exactly sure where the anger comes from. Neither of my parents are angry people, yet I hear stories about how I would stay mad for weeks on end as a teenager (memories of which my brain has conveniently misplaced). I’ve always struggled with depression, so the anger is somehow wrapped up in that. There was also the “event” when I was sexually abused by an older child. They (the infamous “they”) say that really screws a kid up. I’ve written about this before, so we’ll move on.

Then there was the bullying I suffered as a child, both from being overweight and terrified to fight back. I just swallowed all the rage, thinking it would go away.

But it doesn’t just go away. It never goes away, it just builds up and builds up and builds up, like a dam holding back too much water. It bleeds out slowly, all over those you hold most dear.

Some of you know of what I speak.

So thanks to my mom and pop for putting up with me.

Thanks to my wife, Laura, for putting up with me for so long. I know I treat you well, baby. But you know how fatigued I am from the fight.

Now, it’s time to move on. This anger and depression makes me sick all the way to my soul, and I’ve had it. I’m giving it all to Christ, asking Him to take it away.

This is my prayer, from the pit of a very tired heart:

“God, I’ve spent my time in Hell, and am ready for the light. Purge the darkness and fury from my soul, Lord.

I’m tired of fighting the shadows. While I seem ok, and I feel I treat my family well, inside, where nobody else (but You) can see, I’m constantly battling the gloom.

Thus, I’m ready to lift others up. I’m ready to follow Proverbs 15:4: “When you speak healing words, you offer others fruit from the tree of life. But unhealthy, negative words do nothing but crush their hopes.”

Jesus, I pray You give me the strength to always be that amazing, funny and uplifting person my grandson sees.

Help me to keep the first verse of Proverbs 15 in mind:

Respond gently when you are confronted and you’ll defuse the rage of another. Responding with sharp, cutting words will only make it worse. Don’t you know that being angry can ruin the testimony of even the wisest of men?

I’ve exhausted myself, Lord. As You spoke in verse 13 of the same chapter: “A cheerful heart puts a smile on your face, but a broken heart leads to depression.”

Everything seems to go wrong when you feel weak and depressed. But when you choose to be cheerful, every day will bring you more and more joy and fullness. (Proverbs 15:15)”

Ain’t it the truth?

Thanks for surrounding me with such an amazing family, God. It’s true what You said: “It’s much better to have a kind, loving family, even with little, than to have great wealth with nothing but hatred and strife all around you. (Proverbs 15:17)”

I’m sick of being the “touchy, hot-tempered man” You mentioned in verse 18. I long to be “the calm, patient man” who “knows how to silence strife.”

I know I’m great at hiding the shadows which lurk deep in my weary soul, Lord. I know I provide for and protect my family, as You require. But only You know how tired I am of the struggle, Jesus. Please take it away, in Your name.

Amen.”

Eyes that focus on what is beautiful bring joy to the heart, and hearing a good report refreshes and strengthens the inner being. (Proverbs 15:30)”

Blog 02-27-18

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