Friday, September 8, 2017
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It sounds crazy at first. People trying to cause an avalanche. Actually, there are people who do that for a living. One of the many things you can learn watching the Discovery Channel! Obviously, people who get caught in the path of an avalanche of tons of snow have little chance for survival. Skiers, snowmobilers, hikers have all been the tragic victims of what is called the white death. Now enter the specialists they call the avalanche hunters. They actually drive into areas where potential avalanche conditions exist, and using this slender, hand-held cannon, they fire shots into dangerous snow masses. Well, these folks aren't crazy. They actually trigger a small avalanche-which removes some of the buildup that can cause a later major avalanche. Now it's making sense.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Avalanche Prevention."
And what an interesting way to prevent a big avalanche-by precipitating a small one. Do you know, it's similar to the strategy God recommends for preventing emotional avalanches in your relationships, which may have already done some painful damage.
Our word for today from the Word of God, Ephesians 4:26-27, "In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." Now, notice God doesn't say here don't be angry. He says don't be angry in a way that is sinful and hurtful, in a way that gives the devil a place to get into a relationship. So what's sinful anger? Well, for one thing, it's anger you don't deal with right away...anger you let build up. That's the anger that ends up burying someone you care about in one of your emotional avalanches.
Those avalanche hunters know that a small avalanche that does relatively little damage can help prevent a big avalanche that can do a lot of damage. Well, you know, it works that way with your anger, too. Your tendency may be to stuff your anger, to store your anger, to stifle your anger. You don't talk about things when they first cause your temper to flare-you just keep it to yourself. But just because your anger doesn't come out doesn't mean it goes away. It just gets buried.
When you cover your anger, when you just turn cold or you shut people out, when you pout about it instead of expressing your feelings, or you smolder, you're just creating avalanche conditions. And the people around you are going to feel the effects of your anger. They'll just have no idea why. So there's no chance for understanding, or healing, or change...just tension.
Right now you might be in a relationship where there's growing friction and distance because there's been a buildup of anger inside you. Hard feelings may be growing on both sides, and hard feelings are much more difficult to fix than soft feelings. That's why God says to get it fixed that same day before it turns hard.
So it's time to deal with what's accumulating inside of you, isn't it, before it causes larger and more deadly avalanches, which it surely will? First, pour out those feelings to God. He already knows about them, but He's waiting for you to bring them to Him before He'll help you with them. And then find a way to express what's been bothering you to that person or to the people involved...not in some verbal attack on them, but in a way that focuses on how you feel about what they did. And if you can't say it, write it. And if the wounds are really deep and the distance really wide, get the healing help of an objective third party, like a pastor or counselor. Maybe you fear the confrontation. But listen, your greater fear should be the greater pain of not confronting it.
Deal with your anger right now, right away. Work it out before it can grow into something much bigger and a whole lot more damaging. Take care of it when it's small so you don't have to dig yourself and those you love out of the emotional death of a major avalanche.