I’ve seen it in violent thunder storms. I’ve witnessed its aftermath when a swirling tempest of a tornado swept down from the sky and annihilated everything in its path. And I’ve watched nature’s strength in the ebb and flow of ocean waves on both coasts of my country.
The force of nature is evident in raging flood waters, the ferocious wind of a hurricane, the blinding intensity of a blizzard of snow. Nature is powerful. It is mighty and potent. And human nature can be just as forceful.
This week’s photo challenge theme, as you may have guessed, is “force of nature.” I considered several photos I’ve taken that would fit the theme but in the end, I chose the picture above. I snapped it one summer evening when a gusty wind kicked up and some fierce looking storm clouds blew into my neighborhood.
Dark, menacing clouds quickly surged over my house and I ran outside with my camera to capture their intensity. I have to admit it was a little daunting and downright scary.
This photo reminded me that our human nature to become angry works much the same way as those ominous storm clouds. Anger swirls in with such nefarious power that it can overwhelm us by its sheer force. And often wrath overtakes us and causes us to say or do things we never would if we were not under the influence of ire and we didn’t let our human nature prevail.
I still recall a time when a person crossed my path with wrongful actions that stirred up my anger. No, make that fury. And frankly, my reaction scared the living daylights out of me.
See that’s the problem when I let my sinful human nature take charge. It resorts to anger, resentment, bitterness, all totally ugly aspects of the forces of my human nature.
And it just seems like I can’t exist a day in this world without encountering something or someone or some event that makes me angry, that calls up that force of nature within me. And I don’t like it one bit.
That’s why I must turn to my Guidebook for Life, my Bible, every day I breathe. If left to my own devices, I would choose to let the dark forces overtake me. But I won’t. And I have to strive so very hard not to do so.
When I find myself in the grips of wrath, when I’m enveloped in rage, incensed to the core, I must repeat this verse from James 1:19-21: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”
That’s not to say that some anger isn’t warranted; there is righteous anger and even Jesus showed that.
But the kind of anger I’m talking about makes me realize I need to remember the words of the Apostle Paul each and every day. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” ~ Ephesians 4:30-32 (NIV)
Some wrongs committed against us that cause us to burn with anger seem unforgivable. That’s when I must remind myself that some acts (sins) we commit against God might also seem unforgivable, yet He gives us the gift of grace, forgiveness of our wrongdoings when we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives.
The key is repentance, asking for forgiveness, and turning away from our transgression.
I may not be able to control the forces of nature in the outside world, but I can control the forces of my own human nature. May God give me the strength and endurance to do so.
“Man’s chief enemy is his own unruly nature and the dark forces pent up within him.” ~ Ernest A. Jones