DIFFERENTIATING anger from sadness is a venerable wisdom.
Majestic is the place of being for the separating of those two. Anger is a folly where sadness is a wisdom, yet who can separate these in order that sadness might be no longer be suppressed by anger?
It’s only done by surrender. And surrender is only done by humility.
It’s only done when a person stops looking outwardly and begins to look inwardly. Not inwardly at the ‘sorry me’, but inwardly at the vast crevices of brokenness that remain when the entire world — and all the world’s fault — is stripped away. To God we thence simply come, with no embellishments, in our brokenness. He can only heal us if we have had our falsehood stripped right away. And anger is a falsehood.
Every time we look externally, to what others should be doing, we get angry at the injustices that have occurred. Yes, these are veritable injustices, for sure and certain. God can understand why we are livid. But it can’t end there if we hope to heal.
Every time we look internally, to what we ourselves can do, we approach the truth of our sadness, first and foremost. God won’t let us go into the truth of our healing until we have traversed all the way through the truth of our sadness — the sadness without the anger!
Not until we go into sadness — without the anger (can’t stress that enough) — are we ready to take the step into depression, and then from depression into acceptance; from the penultimate step of grief into the ultimate step of grief.
The penultimate step in recovering from grief is depression; the ultimate step is acceptance. We cannot achieve the ultimate without the penultimate. And that can seem like such a lot of hard work, but, be encouraged, only a wonderful reality awaits at the end: an assurance of God.
Be encouraged, you who are depressed in grief; your healing is the next step!
The only way we can go into sadness, without the anger, is to stop looking at anything other than us, ourselves, and God; the difference between us, ourselves, and the Divine.
It took 37 chapters of Job’s complaining before the Lord spoke up out of the storm:
“Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?”
Woe. The most important thing we ever beckoned to learn stands, now, to be learned… if only we are open.
It is only when we are stood up in our tracks, when we fully acknowledge the offence we are to God, clothed in our filthy rags, that we stop accusing God and find our place — with the rest of humanity. We are no better by nature than anyone else. Our indignation is a grand pride that seems so justified, but when we can only look outwardly, and refuse to see the truth in and of ourselves, we are an abomination. We no longer confess — in these moments — that Jesus is our Lord.
Tough words, but true to every biblical respect in the realm of anger and sadness and injustice and grief.
Trust these words. They will not let you down.
Sadness is the truth. Anger is the lie. Anger does have a role, in grace, but it’s not where we can remain. Remain in anger and we get stuck.
Sadness is so very important. Once we subjugate our anger, and let sadness expound from the deepest reaches of our delicate soul, doing so with God, the Spirit pours forth healing.
Sadness is so very important. It’s a condition God places on our healing.
Sadness ventured into is the worship of truth. Anger ventured into is the worship of a lie. God can only heal us as we venture into truth.
Move from anger into sadness, which is a move into truth, and move into healing.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.