Things that make me see red: Someone cuts in front of me and steals my parking space that I have painstakingly waited for, the manicurist nicks me and draws blood while trimming my cuticles, or the trash men leave my upturned cans in the middle of the driveway and I back into one.
These things have happened to all of us . . . perhaps a smaller percentage of you men have experienced the manicure part. But there are a thousand things, even little things that can take us from zero to sixty in 2.8 jigowatts.
Personally, I admit to having minor bouts of road rage. I am a careful and relatively slow driver. I usually have children in the car with me and even when I don’t, I’m just not that aggressive. But when someone cuts me off, or runs me off into the shoulder, or tailgates me, I am like a cornered bear. I can feel the heat surging up inside me and a string of really ugly words threaten to hurtle out of my mouth. I think the real reason I get so mad on the road is that I get scared. And I think fear may be the reason that many of these issues make us see red.
My first thought when I hit that trash can is, “Oh, Lord Jesus, I have hit a child!” Or when I’m on the road and someone gets aggressive with me, I feel the danger of a possible accident and I get scared. The manicure part, well when that pain comes, it hurts and it ticks me off and I get scared she’s going to gouge the rest of my fingers. So each of those instances boil down to fear.
We get in a big fight with our spouse . . . fear that it will never be reconciled and that we’re stuck with this person who has so many flaws. Money pressure . . . fear that there won’t be enough money to take care of our needs. Job pressure . . . fear that we can’t get the job done or fear we’ll get fired or overlooked for promotion. Depression . . . fear that life will never get better and things will always be bad. I could go on and on.
Fear is a killer, fear is a four-letter word. Fear can cause heart attacks. Fear can make your hair turn gray. Fear can destroy your family. Fear can destroy your marriage. Fear can worm its way in and before we know it, we can find ourselves totally paralyzed.
Fear won’t fix anything. Fear won’t soothe a wound. Fear won’t heal a hurt. Fear won’t mend a fight. Nothing good will ever come of it.
Kick fear in the rear.
I used to struggle with really bad dreams and I said and did some weird things in my sleep. It was just the devil trying to torment me and mess with my head. Over the years I have developed an arsenal to fight back when fear comes; which is still tries to do. It’s not a battle you just win one time and then the devil leaves you alone. It’s a constant battle. But it’s one that we can and must win.
My choicest weapons were these: I wrote down and memorized every scripture about sleep and rest and peace that I could find. Then I swung those words out there like a sword. I prayed in the Spirit, and spoke those verses over myself before I went to bed. And if I awoke in the middle of the night, I would do it again until I’d fall back asleep. Eventually, I had that battle licked.
With daily stresses in life, I was prepared with scriptures that reminded me of God’s promises to never leave me nor forsake me, Hebrews 13:5, and I would cast my cares on Him because He cares for me, 1 Peter 5:7, and I would say that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, Philippians 4:13, and the big mama, the mack-daddy fear buster, God has not given me the spirit of fear, but love, power, and a sound mind, 2 Timothy 1:7. I had Jaxon saying that one when he was just a little tiny guy.
I encourage you to recognize fear when it tries to come against you in its many forms. Understand that it’s the devil and it’s not of God, and know that you don’t have to put up with it. Read The Manual; develop your arsenal, sharpen your knives, don’t go into battle naked. Suit up and kick fear in the rear!