You deal with anger a lot when you are grieving. Many Christians like to categorize our anger as “righteous.” But when does that righteous anger cross the line and become just plain anger?
I have found myself angry a lot lately. I won’t sugarcoat it. Ephesians 4:26 says, “When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day.” This anger has led to so many other things, such as depression. (You should see my house – war zone.)
Why am I angry? I hate cancer. Oh, wait, another sin…hate. I feel like instead of being eaten up with cancer, maybe I’m eaten up with sin.
Let me tell you why. In the last three months, my husband has had surgery for malignant melanoma and basosquamous cell carcinoma; July was “Trey” month, his birthday and the anniversary of his death; I lost two good friends to cancer; and, I have another one that has just been diagnosed who is fighting for her life. Collin’s endoscopy that was scheduled for August has been rescheduled for November. I won’t even mention that Aretha Franklin died of pancreatic cancer.
I have to make it clear that I am not angry at God and I don’t know why. I think because I have a healthy fear of the Lord. I know God is good. I think most people would be angry AT God believing that He is the cause. Yes, I have shaken my fist in the air a couple of times over the last six years, but that has not resulted in any relief or extreme pleasure.
Can I admit that I am angry at the people working in research? Why haven’t you found a cure? Why do you keep saying you’re so close? Don’t say you’re so close and lead us on. I remember researchers saying that about ALS in 1982 before my Dad died and I don’t believe they are any closer than they were 30 plus years ago. I had to get that off my chest.
I want to place my anger somewhere. When we are angry, we all want to place blame. I do not know who to blame anymore. I remember so vividly when the doctor who was from genetics came to see Trey at St. Jude to tell us about the P-16 gene. They told us that it was passed from the father to the son and Jay immediately turned to the wall, became red, and tears began to flow down his face. Dr. Sara’s hand suddenly grasped his shoulder and she said, “Jay, this is not your fault.” I believe Jay carries that burden, as do I for giving birth to my children. (It does take two, ya know.) There is NO anger towards Jay and NO burden he should carry since God in His almighty power, knowing beginning to end, had a plan and purpose for Trey.
Wait, what? …since God in His almighty power, knowing beginning to end, had a plan and a purpose… My apple watch just told me to BREATHE. And I think I just received an invisible B-12 shot!
Hummm. “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20
You might not see me in an outrage with my anger, but am I using this anger to help others, help them heal, grieve, or need Jesus? That would be righteous anger. I don’t know that I am, but I want to. I just know that God is not finished with me yet. I am thankful He still catches all my tears. I stepped out of the car crying yesterday…because the Dragons will play their last game in the stadium where Trey played. Oh, my heart aches. It aches for the past that cannot become the future.
I watched a video I recently taped for Trey. The person asked if I liked it. I told him that I had told Jay all I talked about was Trey’s faith and said nothing about how Trey suffered. Jay and I got a good laugh how that sounded coming out of my mouth. So did the person on the other end. Maybe it not always about the suffering or the anger – righteous or not. Maybe it’s just all about the faith.