Like a city whose walls are broken through
is a person who lacks self-control.
- Proverbs 25:28
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
- 1 Peter 5:10-11
“Have you ever been in a discussion with a loved one when something snarky gets said and suddenly your blood pressure skyrockets, your nerves fray, and the worst version of you begs to come out?
“Not that this ehhhhhver happens to me, of course.
“Of course it happens to me. I live with other humans.
“Whenever any kind of relationship conflict arises, my choice is whether to give the other person power to control my emotions.
“When I react by yelling or flying off the handle or making a snappy comeback, I basically transfer my power to the other person. …
“Remember that our goal, whether we are exploding and shaming ourselves or exploding and blaming others, is imperfect progress. When I’ve had an explosion, I feel a lot more imperfect than I do progress. We’re dealing with emotions and relationships – both of which like nailing Jell-O to the wall.
“But before I give up, I’ve learned to hush up.
“1. In the quiet, we feel safe enough to humble ourselves. …
“2. In the quiet, God lifts us up to a more rational place. …
“3. In the quiet, anxiety gives way to progress. …
“4. In the quiet, we acknowledge that our real enemy isn’t the other person. …
“5. In the quiet, I can rest assured God will use this conflict for good – no matter how it turns out. …”
- Lysa TerKeurst, Craving God
This is actually a blend of two different devotions from Ms. TerKeurst’s book. But they seemed to blend together, and it is a topic that I need help with.
I read in someone’s blog a year or two ago that if you get angry, you are angry at God for allowing the other person to irritate you, but for the fourth point above, the enemy is not the other person doing the irritation, it is Satan causing you to lose your focus on Jesus and the task at hand. I do not know if being angry at God is the case all the time, but I have been one of those people who shows his emotions. Anger is an emotion, so I have been angry and shown it. I know, not a good example of God’s love.
But now I have new incentive to tackle this particular stumbling block in my sanctification. The neurologist has said that some of my wife’s cognitive issues stem from anxiety. He never said that her cognitive issues stem from Alzheimer’s disease, but my wife is resolved to that being the issue. The two primary cognitive issues are short-term memory loss and an inability to focus her attention. The ways those manifest themselves is that she will argue that I never told her something, when I had just told her less than five minutes before.
She did that with the neurologist at the office visit. Even through the mask, you could see him gently smile and repeat what he had said. Then, he winked at me. That was the doctor teaching the training manager a lesson in how to react in such situations. Reminding her that I had just answered her question would cause her to become anxious. Raising my voice, which I seldom realize that I am doing, would lead to double anxiety: the fear of having greater mental lapses and the fact that I was getting upset that she could not figure out what I was saying.
So, I sure hope that my wife can endure my mental lapses, when I lose my focus on my job – to stay calm for her sake. After all, it is a new skill that I must learn after nearly 70 years of doing the opposite. I am sure she will have patience. She has put up with me for many years up until now.
But if her mental lapses get worse, she fears the possibility of losing all her memory, but she is the bravest person that I know. As we were on our way from the doctor’s office to the pharmacy, about thirty minutes away. She had worked through all of the stages of grieving, and out of the blue, after a half hour of silence, she said, “If I lose all my memory, but one, I want to remember God.” I still shiver each time I think of that moment.
May we always have a first thought of the day and think of Jesus, and again Jesus as our last thought of the day.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.