From His Heart Daily Devotional 12 January 2022
WHAT’S IN YOUR GARAGE?
BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
When I was a kid, our garage was a sight to behold. While its purpose was to house the family cars and other outdoor items, our garage was the storage place for everything under the sun. As items began to accumulate, the cars were moved to the driveway to accommodate the junk.
Every so often, my parents would announce a Saturday morning garage cleaning day. Yikes! That seemed as daunting as climbing Mount Everest. Moving was preferable to trying to clean out the garage. In my mind, the junk had won the war. Let’s just surrender and move on.
In life, many people have an emotional garage, a storage area for unresolved hurts that they would rather not address. When difficult and painful situations arise that wound and sting, they put these hurts in the garage—out of sight, out of mind. The problem with that common approach is understandable: because those items never go away, over time there is no more room left in the garage. Eventually, the door will no longer shut, and the emotional pain starts to spill out into the driveway.
That garage scenario describes many lives, marriages, and families. Instead of dealing with issues as they arise, denial and dismissal are often practiced. Conflict is therefore never adequately resolved, resulting in a simmering anger that is always lurking just below the surface. Tension, resentment, and bitterness begin to characterize the home. The thought of trying to deal with all the years of stored hurt and pain becomes overwhelming. The problems just seem too numerous and tough to tackle—like trying to clean my garage as a kid. Quitting seems like the easier option. And that is why so many couples go from throwing the bouquet to throwing in the towel.
WHAT IS GOD’S WAY?
God’s way is always to deal with the issues head on. “Do not let the sun go down on your anger” is a clear command that makes perfect sense. You see, all hurt eventually turns into anger. When we choose to stuff it, suppress it, or ignore it, we give “the devil an opportunity” to set up shop in our hearts and homes. When we refuse to deal with the hurt and anger in a timely manner—to talk it out, work it out, and seek and grant forgiveness—we are throwing out a welcome mat for the devil, inviting him to come in and wreak havoc. Needless to say, that is never a good plan.
In John chapter 5, Jesus asked the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda, “Do you want to get well?” What a critical question. If you want to get well, you have to start doing things His way. Your way and my way will never produce love, joy, and peace in our lives. His way, on the other hand, always does.
Are there some things in your garage that you need to clean out? Are there some unaddressed issues in your marriage and family begging for resolution? If you want to get well, don’t wait another day. Bring those problems before the Lord and the appropriate parties. Take full responsibility for your part of the difficulty. Seek forgiveness and grant forgiveness as it is needed. Refuse to store the hurts any longer. When you clean out your garage of all the emotional baggage, you will see God do a work of emotional healing.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries