It was red! After discussing what color to stain the desk for our newly renovated living room, my husband had gone with red. Not only did red seem a little past its time, but I had decorated the rest of the room in navy and grey with pops of teal. I’m no Joanna Gaines, but I know red isn’t anywhere close to that color palette. To say it clashed would be kind. I thought we had agreed on a nice neutral grey; I was absolutely livid!
I wanted to lay into him the moment he walked in the door. What on earth had he been thinking? Had he wanted the desk to match the color of my face when I saw it? I had so wanted everything in this new room to be perfect. Now I was stuck with this crimson eyesore – likely ’til I died.
My anger was so intense, I knew I was liable to sin, probably big. Remembering the apostle Paul’s exhortation to not sin in anger, I knew I needed help. Thus, I went to the most readily available source – Google. I googled Bible verses about anger; I’m not a heathen! A few had come to mind right away, but I wanted to look for something that I hadn’t seen before; the intensity of my fury demanded a fresh word from God.
One of the first verses to pop up was Psalm 4:4, “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah.” Selah means pause.
Pause? Wait? Ponder in your heart and be silent. Silent? Really? When I feel like I’m about to explode?
Hmmm. This was definitely a verse I had never noticed before. Not only had I not noticed it, but it was profoundly counterintuitive and juxtaposed to much of the popular advice about anger: Vent. Let it out. Talk to someone. Go for a run. Punch a pillow. Scream. Clean.
God instructs us to be silent on our beds because it’s so easy to cross over the line and say something we shouldn’t say or do something we shouldn’t do. He is basically sending us to our bedroom for a timeout before we do something we regret.
I didn’t like it, but I did it. I went to my room and laid on my bed in silence. I waited. Gradually, my racing heart slowed, breathing calmed, and mind stopped ricocheting with venomous words.
Then God tenderly, as only he can, spoke to my heart. He asked me if in the grand scheme of life, the color of this desk was really important. He asked if my husband deserved to have some things in the living room that brought him happiness to look at. He asked me if I was willing to surrender this to him in order to preserve peace in my home. “No, it doesn’t really matter,” was my heart’s reply. “And of course I want him to be happy…and, most importantly, yes, Lord. This, too, I can surrender.”
Then a miracle occurred.
I didn’t say anything to him. Well, nothing about the desk. No explosion. No snide remarks. Not even an eye roll instead of a kiss. When I saw my surrender as an opportunity to show my love for the Lord, my anger subsided and it became easier to let go.
It’s been four years now, and the desk still sits in our living room. The desk that used to stand as an offense, now serves as a reminder to value relationships more than my own preferences, to surrender to God in all things, and to allow God the quiet space he needs to speak to my heart – even, and especially, when angry.
A recovering perfectionist, Erica Horyza is learning to embrace God’s grace in the chaos of raising and homeschooling her four children. She loves sharing her journey with other women in the hope they will find grace, peace, and freedom in Jesus. She holds a B.A. in Church Music from North Central University, teaches piano lessons, and is a fitness instructor. Her heart is happiest around a table full of food with a house full of guests.