God you don’t just understand Peter walked outside his house, tears falling from his face. He looks up and shouts “God! Why me? Are you even up there? I just can't take this anymore.” Peter picks up a rock and throws it as far as he can. He kicks up dirt, he screams and he cries some more. After some time he falls to the ground feeling hopeless and helpless. He looks up and there is a man seated on the lawn of his house. The only way to describe the man is lovely. The very sight of him caused Peter to momentarily forget about his problems.
The man gestures for Peter to sit beside him. “What is wrong?” he asks Peter. “You called for me now tell me, what is on your mind?” “I am angry,” Peter said, “I hate everyone but I hate myself even more. I try to control my temper but it is like some wild beast that I cannot tame or control. I lose my temper in front of my friends and family. I cause sorrow to those that surround me. Today I said things to my mother that I regret but I am so angry that I do not want to say sorry. I hate the way I am, I hate that I hurt those around me but it always seems to happen. I do not even know if you understand what I am talking about.‟ “I do Peter, I do. You say you have tried to tame or control your temper right?” “Right.” “How?” “Every time I feel like I will lose my temper I stay away from people. Or I listen to music. Sometimes I even watch a fighting movie, it helps me release my anger. But of late none of these are working.”
“Why haven’t you asked God to help you?” “I don’t want to bring God any more filth. He has to deal with my sinning against him all the time in spite of me being a Christian; I just don’t want to bring him any more garbage. I am tired of being like Cain who brings him garbage, I want to be like Abel who brings him the best of his flock.” “Don’t you understand that you are a fallen creature Peter? No matter what an apple tree does it will always give apples, some good and some bad but you will not see grapes coming from an apple tree.” “Yeah, I do understand that but I just wanted to give him something that will make him proud of me. I wanted God to be able to say to me either on Judgment day or after I die, well done good and faithful servant.‟” “God adopted you as his son. He leaves the ninety nine and comes to help you out as it were. He is already proud of you and nothing you do will make him any less proud to call you son. Yes, he will punish you when you go wrong but he punishes you in love.” “But does that not mean I can keep these feelings of anger inside me and God will still be proud of me?” “Come on Peter, you know better than that. You know that God requires certain things of you. One of which is that you should do away with the deeds of the old man after you become a Christian.”
“What about all the things that were done to me. Does God not know about that? The wrong was done towards me and yet you and everyone seem to look at it as though it is me with the big problem. I have been going through all these problems and have not caved in to the temptation to lose my temper. Then this once when I reached my limit and everyone is making it look as if it is all my fault. What about all the things the other guy did?” “In the Bible Jesus was asked which commandment is the greatest. Jesus answered with two instead of one. The First being that you should do love God with all your being and the second being that you should love your neighbour as you love yourself. These are not easy to follow because the flesh cries out only one word me‟. In situations such as yours, you know what to do but the flesh, your sinful nature is kicking and screaming wanting to be appeased. It does not want to let go of the hate but God wants you to let go of the hate.”
“This is all just talk for you, you do not understand what I am going through.” “Peter, it is I who cried father forgive them for they know not what they do. It is I who died to save not only the descendants of the men who persecuted me but for the men themselves. It is I who was nailed naked to a cross. It is I who had a crown of thorns shoved onto my head rather than my crown of splendour, all for the people who hang me on a cross. I know what you are going through and even more. Peter let go of your anger, it is not helping you.” Peter breaks down once more as it dawns on him who he is talking to “I tried but I can't, I know what is right but I have been bruised and scarred. I can't just let it go.” “Peter I died so you could die to self. You know what is right so do it. God will not listen to you unless you reconcile with the person who has wronged you.
The bible is clear when it refers to being angry and murder as the same thing, God says if you keep this anger in your heart you are in danger of hell. Are you so stubborn as to hold on to your anger even if it means losing your relationship with God in the process? The choice at the end of the day is yours Peter. The Bible is there to guide you, use it well because it is the only way you will understand the mind of God.” With that the mysterious man walked away into the night. Just like Peter the decision is yours to make.
Mwansa Ndemi Mbewe 11th April 2010