Emotions are a gift from God. Jesus was glad when the little children were brought to Him. He was sad when He stood at the tomb of Lazarus. He was angry when He drove the moneychangers from the Temple. Like other emotions, anger is an emotion we all feel. Have you been angry this week? It isn't whether we get angry; it's how we handle the anger. When your temper gets the best of you, people see the worst in you! Anger is the wind that blows out the lamp of the mind. We forget what we are doing and say and do things we shouldn't.
US News and World Report says that the number one emotion that characterizes America today is the emotion of anger. Anger is just one letter away from danger.
One study found that people are twice as likely to have a heart attack if there is unresolved anger in their lives. It also found that men get angry six times a week and women get angry three times a week. I know that you are thinking your wife is about average.
Two flies were buzzing around a messy kitchen table that had the remains of a recently prepared bologna sandwich. The knife used to slice the bologna was covered with little particles of meat. The two flies started at the tip of the knife and ate their way to the end of the handle. Then they flew away, only to become dizzy and fall to the floor — dead! The moral of the story is: Don't fly off the handle when you're full of bologna.
The fact is that we all feel angry sometimes. Did you realize that it is difficult to be angry and thoughtful at the same time? When the Bible talks about putting off anger and malice, it says to speak to others in psalms — singing and making melody in your heart.
An account has been circulating on the Internet about a mother who was doing all she could to prepare her three-year-old son for the arrival of a new sibling. After discovering that the new baby was a girl, Michael sang to his sister night after night in his Mommy's tummy. The pregnancy progressed normally, and the labor began. However, there were complications during delivery. Finally, Michael's baby sister was born but in serious condition. She was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit of the hospital. The days inched by, but she continued to get worse. The pediatric specialist told the parents that there was little hope and to prepare for the worst. Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery for a burial plot. They had decorated her room but now they prepared for a funeral. Michael begged his parents to let him see his new sister. He wanted to sing to her.
During the second week of the hospital stay, it looked as if a funeral was imminent. Michael continued to beg to sing to his sister but the ICU didn't allow children. Karen determined that she would take Michael to see his sister — rules or no rules. Little Michael was dressed in oversized scrubs and he marched into the ICU. He looked like a small laundry basket walking into the unit. The head nurse saw the child and bellowed that kids weren't allowed. The usually mild-mannered Karen glared steel-eyed at the nurse (appropriate anger) and told her that Michael would not leave until he sang to his sister. Michael gazed at the tiny infant and began to sing "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine; You make me happy when skies are gray."
According to the account, she instantly responded and her pulse steadied to normal. Michael continued, "You'll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away." The ragged, strained breathing became as smooth as a kitten's purr. His mom said, "Keep on singing, Michael!"
"The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping; I dreamed I held you in my arms …."
Michael's little sister lay relaxed and rested, healing rest sweeping over her. "Keep on singing, Michael," Karen urged, as tears conquered the face of the bossy head nurse.
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don't take my sunshine away."
Plans for a funeral were stopped, and the next day — the very next day — she was well enough to go home. The article was called "The Miracle of a Brother's Song." The medical staff just called it a miracle. Karen called it a miracle of God's love.
There are a lot of sick people in the world, physically and emotionally, and we would like to give them a dose of their own medicine. Instead, why not give them a dose of God's medicine. Keep on singing — they just might get well.
The old song goes something like this:
There's within my heart a melody;
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
Fear not I am with thee peace be still,
In all of life's ebb and flow.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know.
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
An excellent way to manage your mad is to regulate your malice with this melody. I believe that the opposite of hateful is grateful, so this Thanksgiving have a grateful heart.