“Does It Do You Well?” by Cate Ange
My mind was racing— he did not just do that!!! How dare he! My heart was pounding, hammering away in my ears. The harsh angry words we’d been hurling at each other had ceased.
He’d hung up on me.
How dare he?
How dare he leave me to deal with this mess by myself? We were displaced from our home because of a crazy stalker and my husband was working/living out of town at the time. And now, he’d hung up on me. Does he not even care?? Did he not hear my concerns? He seemed so nonchalant. Where was my indignant knight in shining armor? Where was his outrage over our plight? Where was my protector, my comforter? I was surrounded by a raging storm of chaos and was oh so turbulent within… I needed him!
With my very hands-on/involved husband working in Nashville during the week and home on weekends, I was left to manage everything. A new job, two lively teens and two spastic dogs. And the house. Essentially, I had gone from being an active, plugged in, stay home wife and mom to a single working mom in less than six weeks.
It was hard y’all, I won’t lie. H.A.R.D.!! And now this.
I am blessed with a wonderful partner for a husband. He cooks, he cleans, he is patient and slow to anger– which is good since he’s also our in-house IT specialist! He deals with all those ‘boy’ chores– closes up the house at night, deals with the dogs, takes out the trash, helps with math homework. He dances in the kitchen, keeps me warm at night and prays over me at bedtime.
And all that was gone. It was just me…had just been me as this all-too-real, scary situation had now stretched into a week.
A week of living in the unknown.
A week of no answers.
A week of being disconnected from people…no social media or work.
A week of living on pins and needles.
A week without our sweet dogs and the fun chaos they bring.
A week of quiet desperation.
A week apart from my husband. My protector. My provider. My comforter.
That night it was too much. We were both done. Bitter words were exchanged. Assumptions and accusations flew down the phone line that connected us. Until they didn’t. Until it didn’t.
Disconnected. Discontent. Discouraged. Displaced. Dismayed. Distant.
I was livid! He’d already asked so much of me. I was doing the best I could, but I was done. I was weary and worn out. Drained and depleted. Lonely and languishing. Scared and separated.
No way was I calling him back.
As I got ready for bed murmuring, muttering and complaining to myself, God started to work on my heart. Don’t you hate that? Especially when you’re in the middle of a justifiable temper tantrum.
By the time I crawled into bed, I grudgingly admitted that I might have been wrong in how I spoke to my husband. I asked the LORD to forgive me and to help me forgive Jay– because I sure didn’t want to.
The next day I got up for my coffee and quiet time. I was still upset and needed some peace before I even thought about speaking to Jay.
As I settled in and opened my Bible, God spoke directly to my plight and to me. It was almost comical- had it not been so pointed. So direct. So confrontational!
You see, I had opened my Bible to Jonah 4:4.
The chapter where God calls out Jonah in his anger.
Even better? Jay’s soccer number and favorite number is 4. Yep. Did you know that when God does something twice He really means it? HE threw down the gauntlet with Jonah 4:4 that morning as I read, ‘‘But the LORD replied, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’” (NIV)
You’re kidding me, God. Surely, You did not just say that to me! You know what he’s done/ not done! I DO have a right to be angry! Don’t You see it? Don’t You see me?
This has to mean something else…surely. Surely, He was not so cruel.
So, I looked it up in a different version.
This time He took a different tactic.
“Does it do you well to be angry?” (KJV)
Really?! This is better? Actually, yes it was…
Our God, who is a loving Father, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love simply asked me if it did me well to be angry.
Let that sink in.
Did it do ME well?
He did see me. He did care.
I don’t know about you when you’re angry, but I can honestly say it does not do me well!
My tone is not nice.
My words are not gentle and kind.
My heart races…then hardens, as seeds of resentment are planted and trapped where, they will grow deep roots that will further divide and destroy if left unattended.
My smile is gone.
My peace leaves me.
My perspective is distorted so I only see the wrong.
Being angry definitely does not do me well!
So, what’s a girl to do?
Agree with my Father.
My Father who sees the whole situation. Both sides. From beginning to end.
Agree with my Father.
My Father who cares for me AND my husband– for my whole family! Who cares so much He sent His Only Son to die so that I might be reconciled to Him.
Agree with my Father.
My Father who sees ME. Who sees my struggle. Who sees how this will all work for my good– and will use it for the good of others. Who sees me and all my failures, flaws, faults and loves me. In spite of myself.
What right do I have to be angry? None.
God sent His Only Son on a search and rescue mission. He was rejected by His own, tortured and killed in the most inhumanely possible way- crucifixion- all to save me. All to save you.
He sacrificed His Son to rescue me. Yet, He isn’t angry with me that He had to do it that way. He isn’t frustrated that I couldn’t do it myself. That I didn’t do it right. That I still don’t get it right. HE’s just happy that I’m His. How is this??
Love. Simply that.
“Love keeps no record of wrongs.” 1Corinthians 13:5
And when we agree with our Father about our anger, He will help us leave it behind.
Love. Simply that.
He never asks us to do something He hasn’t already done for us and He will always help us to do things His way. We just have to agree, ask for forgiveness, and DO what Jesus would do. When we seek His direction, He provides it…. but the grace and power comes in the DOING. You must step out in faith and trust that His way is best and believe it will work.
When you step out in love with faith, He will help you step out of anger. He will strengthen you to keep walking and with each step, your faith in His power will grow as you learn to trust His faithfulness to help you do what you cannot do on your own.
I was not happy with the smack upside my head that morning. I admit- it was hard to do the right thing. To agree with Him. To put my feelings aside. To stand in truth and walk in love.
But it was worth every bit of struggle.
Did I do it perfectly? No.
Do I still mess up? Absolutely!
Does my gracious, loving Father remind me of this verse? Yes.
Does He condemn me when I mess up…again? No.
I am reminded that His way is best. I have seen it. I have lived it. I have experienced it….and it does me very well!
Convicted? Yes-because I want all the good that comes from my Father, not the yuck that comes from being angry. I thank Him for the reminder, ask for His help and forgiveness. And we start walking again.
Jay and I now look back on that scary time with gratitude and laugh over this verse. We came out of it stronger than ever with a deeper trust in each other and our Father- Our True Protector, Provider and Comforter. We were stretched and stressed…but there were treasures to be found in the darkness. This little gem about anger is a beautiful reminder to me of the loving, personal attention He gives to each one of His children. He sees me as I ought to be, and helps transform me to look more like Jesus- and isn’t going to stop until I do! Why?
Love. Simply that.
And that, does me VERY well.
Written by ~ Cate Ange
Cate is a Huntsville native with a passion for Jesus and a love of encouraging and reaching others for Him any way she can. Cate has been called a “gatherer of women from all over the city”. In her role as the Education Institute Coordinator at Hospice Family Care, Cate’s enthusiasm to help everyone live life well, wherever they find themselves, shines through whenever she speaks. Her position merges her talents of teaching and relationship building with her zeal for ministering to both the young and old alike. Those who know Cate are happily amused to hear she gets paid to talk and raise awareness regarding topics and issues she is passionate about throughout the community. They wonder how she fell into such an amazing opportunity! In other words, Cate talks a lot and is a blessed girl indeed! An avid foodie, incurable problem solver, lifelong coffeeholic, and unapologetic escalator of fun, Cate and her husband, Jay, along with their two lively teens live a very full—but never dull- life!