I had lunch with a friend the other day, and we spoke about the challenges of doing God’s work and the battles we were both facing as we maneuvered through the jobs the Lord gave to us. We were both seeing firsthand how doing God’s work means war, and it can take you on a roller coaster of feelings at any given time. We talked about our days of extreme highs and debilitating lows.
One such day happened to me a few weeks ago. One day on my way to work I stopped to get some gas. Once I arrived, I reached into my purse for my debit card. As I opened the door, I dropped my debit card, but I did not see where it fell. Since I did not see where it fell, I ended up spending several minutes searching for it. I got out of the car, and I moved the seat all the way forward and looked, I moved the seat all the way back and looked, and I ran my hand under the seat on both sides, without success. Though I did not think this was likely, I got down on my hands and knees and looked under the car as well.
Still unsuccessful I threw my hands in the air and said, “Lord I need my debit card.” Almost immediately I heard the Lord say the debit card had fallen into the cup holder on the driver side door. At the same time, he spoke, he also jerked my head quickly to the left and leaned me forward so that I could see it. The way the card landed I could not see it when I looked from my “normal” angle. I screamed, thank you, Lord! As I drove to work, I thought about how amazing this experience was. The Lord not only spoke to my spirit, but he also moved my physical body.
I was floating on air as I thought of how wonderful the Lord is. When I arrived at work, I began reviewing my voicemail messages. One of my messages required me to retrieve some information I had saved and paper-clipped together. I looked where the papers should have been, but to my surprise, they were not there. I spent a good 10 to 15 minutes in my search but came up empty-handed.
In desperation, I went to the Lord and asked him to show me where those papers were. Instantly, he told me that I had incorrectly paper-clipped the papers inside of the wrong folder. I went directly to the folder he said and opened it. I reviewed the folder which had about 50 papers already in it and found that in the back, on the bottom, was the paper-clipped information I was looking for. I shouted thank you, Jesus! I was excited about finding my debit card, but this put me right on cloud nine, well at least it did for a while. Everything was great until after lunch when my glory hallelujah train ran into a brick wall.
After lunch, I was in my office in the middle of a conference call. My office door was closed, and my back was to the door. I was concentrating on the call, so I didn’t hear someone open up my door and walk in and drop something on my desk. The thump of the papers surprised me because I was in the solitude of my office alone. When I heard the thump, I jumped in my seat in surprise and turned towards the noise. When I turned around, I saw the back of the person headed out of my office. I would like to tell you that at that moment I felt nothing but love. That is the farthest from the truth. Anger quickly welled up in me. I was angry for being surprised and frightened, and I was angry because I thought it was rude for someone to walk into an office without knocking. My thoughts were not good ones.
By the time the call ended I had calmed down. I realized at that point that the call was a blessing in disguise because it gave me time to calm down and not act out of emotion. I realized how quickly this incident took me away from the joy I had been feeling all day to the low of full-blown anger. After ending the call, I took a deep breath and decided two things. First, I was not going to spend the rest of my day in anger, and second, I needed to forgive the person for being rude and move on.
I told my friend that I knew that anger was an open door to evil, and we all must make a choice. We can choose to respond in anger, or we can choose to respond in love. Though all our highs and lows are different, how we choose to respond to the lows will impact how well we will recover the next time. Do not let your highs get ruined by your lows.
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Phillippians 4:4