Thursday, June 16, 2011

When Anger Threatens to Consume Me

I thought it was gone, but I was wrong. How could I be so naïve?
All I can say is that I’m thankful God is showing me through the Holy Spirit that I still have the issue. What issue is that, you ask?
Anger. Bitterness. Toward God.

Back when I was diagnosed with diabetes, I didn’t realize it was a sin to react the way I did. I wasn’t quite 9. Although I had prayed a prayer for God to come into my heart when I was young, I didn’t understand what it truly meant to be a Christian. I didn’t have a good grasp of the gospel, only a child’s understanding of not wanting to go to Hell when I died.
I was truly saved when I was 18, and God has been doing a great deal of work on my heart ever since.

On May 12th I was diagnosed with Celiac disease and, after a few weeks, I felt the Holy Spirit open my eyes to the way I was reacting to the reality of it. I was bitter, upset, angry that I could no longer eat the foods I was used to eating, that I had to cut my diet back and check food labels for gluten in everything I wanted to eat. I struggled the most when I was out with friends. I’ve always had a desire to be “normal,” and it was hard to watch them all eat whatever they wanted. I felt left out.

But God’s grace was more than sufficient. He gently broke my heart as I cried out to Him. I told Him I didn’t want to do it again, I didn’t want to fall back into the dark hole of bitterness. I didn’t want to be angry with Him. I have no right to be. He’s using these diseases not for evil but for good. I can see that now, though I’m not sure what good exactly will come of it yet. Perhaps I can help others who are struggling with the same thing. Regardless, I believe He used diabetes to lead me to the conclusion that I needed a Savior (my response to diabetes was bitterness and anger, which escalated to the point where I recognized it as sin and repented in desperation) and He is using Celiac to further eradicate that issue and refine my faith so that my character reflects Christ’s even more.

As Peter says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:3-7)

Even if the only thing for which God is using Celiac is to make me more like Christ, may He be praised; how marvelous that He would work in a broken, sinful girl like me to make me a perfect bride for His Son!