We all have them in our lives…people who get on our nerves.  They may be people we see every day – a coworker, a neighbor.  Or they can be people we’ll only meet once in a lifetime.  God puts them in our path to teach us and train us about humility and a whole lot about patience and love.

This first week in California has not been what anyone would mistake as a stellar week.  Living out your dream comes with a price.  Since arriving, my price has been dealing with various repairmen.  Our garage door collapsed about the third time we raised it; the very first time my car would have been put in the garage.  Unable to use the door, I’ve dealt with two insurance companies and several repairmen in an effort to get it replaced.  These activities are way out of my comfort zone.

To strengthen me even more, God upped the ante.  And I failed miserably.  The home inspector we hired prior to purchasing the house missed some key flaws with the garage door.  I called his company to complain and he called me back.  The frustration and anger that had been building over the week exploded and we ended up in a very heated screaming match.

When I finally clicked off my cell phone to end the call, I was shaking.  Tears started soon after that.  Calmness didn’t even enter my spirit for a couple of hours, but when it did, I heard God’s instruction loud and clear.  Somehow in the midst of all my anger, I had forgotten that He was in control; that He would see me through this minor bump in the road.

Galatians 5:22 -23 states: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” My shouting match was proof that I was a flawed Christian – because in the richness and beauty of God’s strength, a garage door is a trifle.

The only way to live the fruit of the Spirit is to hold tightly to His grasp and not let go.  I had the opportunity to quiet my spirit prior to talking with the home inspector.  I didn’t.  I was more like a bull in a china shop, and the result is that I trampled on the feelings of another individual.  One that God loves, one that matters to Him.

That moment on the phone could have been so different had I but risen above my anger and let God chose my words.  Making a difference in your world isn’t always about some huge, significant feat.  It is the little things that bring on change.  Like checking your anger at the door when someone tramples on your nerves.  Or being kind when you’ve been hurt.  Answering God’s call with a leap of faith when He asks you to display gentleness and self-control.

When we take life too seriously, our negative emotions implode into our relationship with God.  It is only by resting in His arms – in trusting that He has a purpose in all our messes that we can lay down our worries and receive His peace.

Let God handle life’s difficulties. Learn from my mistake…just breathe in His love and His grace.

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