by Linda Cox

. . . (M)y feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold . . . . When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood . . . . I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel; and afterward You will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:2, 16-17, 23-26

Three treadmill prayer walks, two devotion and Bible study times, one sermon followed by the Lord’s Supper, and boatloads of prayers from my friends. That’s what it finally took for God’s peace to break the stranglehold anger had on me.

A surgical procedure had been performed on a loved one without notifying our family. We were totally in the dark as to why it was needed, if at all. My husband took it all in stride. I did not. Even though our loved one was doing well after the surgery, I was very angry at not being allowed the opportunity to be involved in the decision-making.

During the next three days God repeatedly drew me back into His sanctuaries of prayer, Bible reading, and Sunday worship, each time chipping away at my anger. I’d give it to Him and then take it back, letting it eat away at me continually. But then God brought Psalm 73, one of my favorite passages, to mind. And His peace finally shattered my anger and brought my focus to where it needed to be—on God alone.

And I finally understood. If the surgery had been a necessity, I rest in the fact that God used it to save our loved one’s life. And if the surgery was not necessary, the Lord was still there protecting her from potential harm. Yes, I finally accepted—that I didn’t need to understand why. The Lord was with her, and that’s all that matters.

Anger caused me to nearly lose my footing until I entered the sanctuary of God. I pray that when you are faced with something you don’t understand—illness, death of a loved one, unfairness, worry or fear—that you draw near to the Lord. Whether it’s a church service, a time of prayer, or simply reading the Bible, go to His sanctuary as many times as it takes until your focus is Him, and Him alone.

For when God becomes all we desire, we have all we need, because He truly is the strength of our heart and our portion forever.