Do you do things that result in disaster on purpose? I am more than certain you don’t, yet there are times when you do things that result is the disaster (I’m using the word “disaster” in a general way). I needed to do home counseling today. Jenny stayed at home. Before my return, I gave her a call to say I was on my way. She told me a story about what happened to her.
She was running water into the kitchen sink and needed to go out of the kitchen for something which took longer than expected. Whilst she was away, the sink’s basin filled up quicker than expected and overflowed. By the time she returned to the kitchen, the floor had water on it which needed to be mopped and wiped up. The bigger part of the disaster was that the water seeped under the Novilon Flooring and kept coming up.
The strange thing about this sink is that it does not have an overflow hole at the top like most baths, hand basins and sinks do. As the sink overflowed, the water seeped through the tiling, down the wall onto the Novilon … and into the cupboard under the sink. We unpacked the cupboard, leaving the doors open. The draught through the kitchen door seemed to dry the shelving quickly, but the water rising from the Novilon took hours to dry up.
Accidents like this happen so often. We are busy doing something, and for some reason we move away for a while. When we return, some sort of mess, disaster or accident has occurred. I’ve done this often, and I believe you have as well. The blessing in our case is that nothing was damaged and we could sort things out easily. Sadly, there are other occasions when we do things like this that result in some serious issue.
You do know that weeds happen! At times, you see weeds in a flower bed or in the veggie patch. You see it. It’s there. The weeds are small. They are there, but you decide to remove them later … as in on another day. Then, the days pass and even the weeks … and soon the weeds have grown rather tall and robust. Removing them takes longer and harder because the roots are bigger and firmly established in the sand or rocks or brickwork.
You have heard the term, “crevices and cracks” … either the wind blows or birds drop seeds, and before you know it, the weeds (or plants) start growing. Leaving or neglecting them leads to problems or disasters. That is a principle for all of life. Leave, ignore or neglect something and the next moment there is a problem, crisis or disaster.
Although I have used the following Scripture before, it is a good passage to help us not to leave, ignore or neglect something that needs our immediate attention.
Eph 4:26 “In your anger do not sin”. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
Three things flow naturally from these two verses:
Anger is Not Always Sin
“In your anger do not sin” … there is anger that is not sin. That is God’s righteous anger. Mostly, our anger relates to our sin or our emotional state causing us to sin. For us to be angry with sin (even personal sin) is perhaps good … but for us to be angry with someone or with a situation because we don’t like what is happening is more likely sin. Take a politician from the “other side” who spews out a message that goes against your political ideology which causes anger. That is sin.
You Must Deal With Your Anger
“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” … So you are angry. You know how anger works! You are boiling and go to bed and can’t sleep. You think about all the reasons why you are angry and rationalize that your anger is justified and the other person (or people, or environment) is wrong. Not only do you have a bad night, but you have proved to yourself that your anger is legitimate and the other person is wrong and needs your wrath. Yet God says, prevent that … stop your thoughts swaying in that direction before you start. You see, the fantasy world is powerful! You can make anything real in fantasy! God wants us to sort out our issues before bedtime, meaning we need urgency before the ant hill becomes a mountain … before the water overflows … before the weeds take over!
You Must Remove the Devil’s Stepladder
“Do not give the devil a foothold” … cease the sin … turn off the tap timeously, remove the little weeds immediately. In my pre-marital course, I say that “anger not dealt with is anger stored for future usage.” Whatever it is that causes one to sin needs to be dealt with aggressively so that the enemy’s opportunities of causing havoc in our lives are stifled and stopped. Where there is no ladder, there is no climbing.
By the time I arrived home to help Jenny clean up the water mess, she was quite exhausted, having mopped and wiped it all up. Her hands were quite red from wringing out the mop and cloth. Be it anger or any other matter, it could cause us much pain and agony cleaning up the mess. The passage above is about stopping the problem in its tracks before it develops into an unmanageable crisis.
Dear God, Thank You for Your love and forgiveness. Help me to practice those three directives in the Ephesians passage. Forgive me for the times when I have not given sufficient, timely attention to the small weeds and overflowing water that have caused untold distress in my life. Help me to put Your Word into practice daily. Amen.