Week Five Devotion – Frustration and Anger
Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves; Mark 11. 15
I am not generally an angry person and rarely hold grudges but that does not mean that I don’t have moments of frustration which boil over into unkind words. Thankfully such incidents usually occur when I am behind the wheel of my car so no one can hear my outbursts. At those moments it can be frightening to realise just how deeply the physical sense of anger a relatively minor discourtesy can invoke. Luckily, such feelings are fleeting and soon forgotten.
It is not always the case with more major assaults on our sense of right and wrong. The feelings of anger rather than dissipating, seem to pile up on top of one another so we begin to expect that person or situation to anger us and we fail to look for the moments of good and reconciliation. Added to that we, as followers of Jesus, tend to feel guilty when we have moments of anger and bottle up shame when we cannot seem to let go of grudges.
It is wonderfully reassuring to see that Jesus had moments of frustration with the behaviour of others and that he sometimes acted on instinct. Driving out from the temple all who were showing disrespect to the sacred house of prayer. The urge to overturn tables and chairs in anger is a feeling that really resonates with us all. Knowing that we share such emotions with Jesus gives us the confidence that he really understands us and therefore does not judge us. Freeing us from the sense of guilt and shame that can well up inside us.
Sharing our feelings openly, in all their messiness and murkiness, with our loving Lord gives us the space for healing. Space for the restoration of calm to our inner souls and our outwards bodies, for the ongoing protection to live without fear of our emotions and for the strength to face whatever frustrations, both large and small, we encounter in our daily lives.
With all my love and prayers for a peaceful and holy Lent