Thursday, October 22, 2015

Shedding Anger

Twice a year, Honeybun sheds her undercoat. When that happens, endless hair comes out in huge clumps. This photo is of one brief brushing session. This was the second pile of this size that I collected. And hair was still coming out in handfuls. I never finish brushing her during these times. I just choose to stop. I have heard that Carolina Dogs' thick undercoat sheds in preparation for winter so the summer fur can be replaced by a denser winter undercoat. I don't know if that is true or not, but she sheds like crazy right before winter.

It makes no sense to me. Why prepare for the winter by shedding a mountain of fur?

I just finished writing book #3 of my Burton's Farm series. In essence, it is a book about shedding one's past and confronting pain. That's what I thought about as I looked at this pile of fur that Honeybun must shed in order to grow the thick winter undercoat she would need if she were in the wild and had to brave the bitter cold.

She of course leads a plush life and will never face the bitter cold again. She did live for part of her younger life in the wild, facing starvation, ticks, and extreme weather. If only the effects of a terrible past could be as easily shed as her undercoat.

Jesus tells us to discard the old to make way for the new.To hang on to bitterness and anger, even if it is justified is as useless as trying to hang on to an undercoat that no longer serves its purpose. It will come out, but it can come out in a way that covers your nice clean couch irreparably with fur, or in a pile you can throw away, never to be seen again.

It is not any easier to discard deep hurt and anger than it is to brush all of Honeybun's undercoat. It doesn't happen in a day. It is a process that takes time. God clearly desires it. He reminds us that our anger will not lead us into righteousness. James 1:19-20 says  My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Just as Honeybun's shedding summer coat will be replaced with a winter coat that will protect her, God tells us we do not simply shed our anger and then all is well. We must replace it with kindness, forgiveness, and gratitude for what God has done for us.
Ephesians 4:31 -- Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

But how?

If you are like me, when anger is justified, it is hard to release it. If only it would fall away like Honeybun's undercoat in shedding season! But if it isn't consciously brushed away, huge clumps of it form, just like that pile of fur beside my dog. No one wants to carry that useless weight on their back.

Psalm 68:19 portrays the only way to shift our burden of anger: Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. God will bear our burden if we let Him. He alone can save us from the sin that so easily drags us down, the weight of anger and bitterness that can pile so heavily on our hearts.

I noticed today that Honeybun's undercoat is almost completely brushed away.  She looks so much better, and seems to prance with a lighter step.

Psalm 55:22 

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.




5 comments:

  1. WOW...right on schedule; a needed Word. Bless you.

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  2. WOW...right on schedule; a needed Word. Bless you.

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    Replies
    1. we must be in synch on needed messages.

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  3. I will never look at dog hair in the same way again. Thanks for the profound lesson.

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  4. Great scripture references. Thanks for reminding me.

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