"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." - 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
God gave me a sound spanking this morning. Then smacked me upside the head. You know, He knew just what I needed! Anger -- the thing that gets in the way of my relationship with Him -- got ahold of me yesterday afternoon and held on tightly. Wrapped itself around me, strangled me, held me captive. Completely, totally. Why, you ask? Because I let an inconvenience, a deviation to MY plans, rob me of my love for the person who I perceived to be the cause of the disruption.
Dennis ran out of gas -- gasp! how dare he! -- down the street and called to ask me to bring him a gas can. I had just put hair color on my hair -- yes, I admit, the grays are taking over -- and wasn't dressed. So, fine, I'll bring you the can -- said with attitude, I'll admit it. Before I could put my grandkids in the car, I told the youngest to go to the potty. At that point, I found out he had messed in his underwear. So, now I had to clean him up, which increased my irritation. I had to get the rest of the color in my hair and was going to go over the time limit for that...up went the irritation level. Didn't Dennis realize he was low on gas? He had told me a few days ago that his gas gauge was wrong; why didn't he put a gas can in the truck? How dare he interrupt my day by not being prepared!! 'Round and 'round these thoughts went. By the time I got the kids in the car, the gas can full of gas in the Tahoe -- no cap on it, hoping it didn't tip over -- and headed down the road, my hair full of Loreal Excellence, wearing my slippers and a robe (Lord, don't let me get pulled over!!), I was so mad that if I had been a teapot, steam would have been coming out my ears. I pulled up behind Dennis, he came and got the gas can out of the back, said Thank You...and I said nothing. My granddaughter put me in my place by saying, "You're welcome." Then she said to me, "I told Poppa, 'You're welcome' for you, Mia." Oh boy...God started working. I resisted....I like to be angry, you see. Makes me feel in control...at least that's what I convince myself of when I'm angry. God continued to work in me through Bible study -- I needed that, I'll tell you! Then I came home and read the last two chapters of Matthew -- about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Okay, Lord, I get it, I get it. I'll apologize for overreacting. So I did, but I didn't fully mean it. Then I went to bed.
God knew my heart. He knew I was still irritated. Not full blown angry anymore, just annoyed. I knew it too...so I prayed about it before I fell asleep. And, again when I woke up this morning. And His answer? This verse. Above all, love, because it covers a multitude of sins. Jesus loves me so much, He gave His life for me. Who am I to become angry over something so trivial as a disruption of my schedule? I'm not perfect, yet Jesus loves me anyway. His love for me covered ALL of my sins. Lord, forgive me and help me to be forgiving.
So, I will truly apologize this morning when Dennis wakes up. I'll mean it, too. I'm going to post this verse where it catches my attention daily. Maybe I'll make it my screen saver!! Because, above all, I really do love my husband. Even when he runs out of gas.
"Love is an act of endless forgiveness." - Jean Vanier
Dear Lord, I'm not perfect so why do I expect everyone else to be? Blind me to the shortcomings of others but open my eyes to my own. Fill me with Your love because my own is insufficient. Guide me to live this verse today. In Jesus' name, Amen.