“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:15).
Our homes are our sanctuaries. Or they can be our prisons.
I was recently talking to a friend whose son left for college. She said how quiet the house was, despite her two other children. Her son, though incredibly kind, evidently has a personality that quickly reflected his unhappiness about something–so that the entire household knew it. The household cannot be peaceful again until he has resolved his challenge.
“It is so quiet now,” she said. “None of us have an explosive personality.”
We often believe that if we are not angry at anyone–and we are not verbally attacking anyone–we are allowed to express ourselves in any way we wish at home. Are we not allowed to be honest? How can we not yell when a bowl of leftovers falls out of the refrigerator onto our toes?
Because we are not just hiding our light–Jesus in us–we are accepting Satan’s ploys of giving into our negative emotions. That is bringing his darkness into our own homes.
It isn’t easy and some outbursts will occur–especially when they give us additional physical pain. But is every explosive event justified? No. Too often we form a habit and we don’t even realize how our words, screams, or general attitude can impact those around us.
Gary Smalley once created a word picture that I have not forgotten. When a puppy is in a room and a person yells–even when not directed at the puppy–he will instinctively cower down and wait in fear and anxiety. This is how it feels when we–or our loved ones–explode.
Life should be centered around waiting expectantly to see what God will do, rather than walking on egg shells, waiting to see who will blow up about what.
Are you the light in your home? Or has your illness become an excuse to not just put your light under the bowl, but bury it in the backyard? When is that last time someone in your home asked, “what are you so happy about today?”
Prayer: Lord, I confess that I lose my cool and dismiss the effect it can have on the people in my home. Do not let my illness become an excuse to hide Your glory in my life. Give me patience and understanding with those who I live with as they learn to control their anger. Guard my heart and remind me to lift them up to You. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and has lived with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, among many other secondary illnesses, since 1993. She is excited about her new prayer book that is now at print. Watch our web site and these mailings for a chance to win a free copy or order one for yourself or a friend for Christmas.
How would the people in your home describe how the atmosphere changes when you walk into a room?
Whether you are the one losing control in your home, or it is someone you love, I think you will be encouraged by this song, “You Won’t Let Go” with Michael W. Smith. It reminds us that nothing occurs without God knowing about it and making a way. Cling to Him as your anchor, because He will never let go and He will be there through those difficult challenges you face. Hugs. -Lisa