I don’t know about you but lately, do you feel like there are a lot of raging voices going on in the world? And doesn’t it also feel impossible to conquer rage with so much going on? It feels like this gigantic fight everywhere you turn.
When you think of Covid you have the anti maskers fighting with the pro maskers; you have the ones who want lockdowns battling with the ones who don’t want anymore lockdowns; there are fights in the homes and between families and friends about what is okay and what is not okay and why it’s NOT okay that you think this is okay.
So much tension and anger and we don’t yet know how to conquer rage.
Governments are fighting to figure out what is the best next step with people arguing them from every direction. Pro Vaccinators versus the anti. The list goes on.
And then you bring in what happened last week in the Capitol building in the USA…and the whole election process actually. Pro trump fighting anti trump.
Everyone presenting their best argument for whichever side they sit, sometimes as if one side is all righteous and the other side is all evil even though neither one is true.
And it all comes to a head on Wednesday with the deadly riots followed by warnings of more. Conquer rage? Who knows.
And six days later, my province in Canada enters almost complete lockdown once again.
Oh man. The voices. The news. Clients. Strangers. Members of our family and friends. Neighbors. It’s everywhere.
It feels impossible to conquer rage in the world.
It’s tiring, isn’t it? That’s how I feel today.
On Sunday, we were doing church at home by watching our service online. The passage he was talking about was Isaiah 41:8-13. At one point he read verse 11:
“All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced…” He paused and said, “Enemies rage. Satan rages. And what does raging do? It causes fear.” Then he said that Jesus uses a still, small voice.
That hit me. The polar opposites. And what does a still, small voice do? It comforts, soothes, calms. It chooses to conquer rage.
As I was doing some reading I found these verses.
“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.” Proverbs 15:18
“…calmness will lay great offenses to rest.” Ecclesiastes 10:4
“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling…” 1 Timothy 2:8
“…for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:20
“Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14
I guess I feel a little flustered right now. I have all these verses I want to share about love. Just love. Keep loving. Don’t stop. If what you are doing – even if you are free to do so – causes someone to stumble, that is UNloving. So then stop. We are here for the good of others.
For Christmas, Summer got this karaoke microphone. It is hysterical. You hook it up to your phone and then you can play your playlists through it and sing along. Your voice echoes and is amplified for the whole house to hear. Jaden had his appendix out last week so he was stuck, immobile on the couch.
During an at-home recess this week, she picked up the mic and cranked it! She does not have the blessing of an American Idol voice so it was pretty painful. LOUD and painful. And there was nothing Jaden could do but sit on the couch and take it even though it was hurting his ears.
This is life without love. A really loud microphone used in the wrong way. If I “have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal” or a really loud karaoke mic with no singing skills whatsoever.
Every single one of us needs to stop and slow down. Myself included. Actually, myself first. Let me lead the way. Let me stop the rage. MY rage. Let me slow down and do three things. Immediately and urgently.
- STOP. Just stop and listen for the still small voice. You won’t hear it if you don’t stop. There is too much going on right now. But God’s message of love is getting drowned out by all of us yelling into our karaoke mics. Nobody can hear it. So let’s stop. Get back to the Bible. Remind ourselves of what He wants us to fight for and how He wants us to fight. He wants us to fight for our neighbor. And He wants us fight with love.
- BECOME. Become a still small voice like His. Stop arguing your side and your points. Everyone is arguing their side or their point because they are hurting. No one is NOT hurting. So let’s stop yelling and arguing with hurting people. Become still. Become small. Become a voice gentle enough that someone will listen.
- LOVE. Love your pants off. You can’t go wrong there. You really can’t. If you are desperate for a lockdown, good for you, but don’t stop loving the ones who are anti-lockdown. They are anti because it brings hurt to their lives. If you are anti-lockdown, good for you too, but don’t stop loving the ones who are pro lockdown because they are so overburdened because their jobs put them on the front line. They are hurting too and exhausted.
The thing is, if we slow down to hear the still, small voice of God, He will help us to hear the still, small voice of other people’s pain.
When you realize someone is in agony, whatever the cause, there is no way you would rage against them.
You would never yell. You would conquer rage in that moment. You would go up to them and console them with your still, small voice.
God is whispering in this chaos. He is begging for our attention but He won’t yell for it. He’s waiting…like a teacher with her hand up, waiting for her students to notice and be quiet. He’s got His hand up. He’s waiting. Will you notice? Will you be quiet?
I ask that of myself too…Will I notice? Will I be quiet?