Finding comfort in annoyance

By: By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist

Have you enjoyed or been annoyed by red letter dates in the busy month of June? I retyped the beginning question for this story twice wondering why the word ‘annoyed’ popped in my mind while writing about special days and celebrations. Annoyed does not seem to fit; yet, it does!

Christmas is a perfect example. Christmas celebrations are meant to honor Jesus’ birthday and give gifts as did the Wise Men, but the real reason for Christmas can be lost in commercialism and chaos. Jesus Christ must be annoyed when we celebrate to the max with frustration, exhaustion, and little time left for Him. Often, we go to the extreme planning and putting on celebrations that shine in man’s eyes and miss Jesus’ plea to keep Him first and enjoy each day.

Like Martha, we often ‘over-do’, then complain and compare what we did with what others did not do (cook meals for family gatherings, serve in church, plan office events, etc.) and spoil the celebration for us and others. Focusing on getting things done without going overboard and reserving time to sit at Jesus’ feet ( family, friends, those in need) to listen, learn, and feel loved is important.

Time together with Thee and them (loved ones) can be endangered if we become entangled in the web that kept Martha tied up with ‘to do’ lists! When Christmas approaches and the mad rush of expectations overwhelm…we can easily become annoyed and miss the anointing and adoration of The Holy One. Choosing to simplify and share the gift of quality time together makes any day a red letter one!

As celebrations and everyday living keep us busy, may we activate words of wisdom Mary would recommend. By simplifying lifestyles and spending more time being still, faithfully focusing, listening, and sharing our stories with those He puts in our paths, we can enjoy Christ centered celebrations without being annoyed or annoying others. Are your toes stomped yet? Mine are! We can change the way we do things and enjoy every day when living closely connected to Christ.

This story’s ending was about honoring and loving fathers without annoying them. When I received a call that my story for June 23rd had not been received, I was thankful it was saved. Sending it again was no problem, so I thought! With deadline approaching, I carefully highlighted the entire story and hit send. Clicking ‘sent’ for confirmation the story arrived caused annoyance! Only the first two paragraphs made it; the rest of my writing was gone. After a futile search and realization that what was lost could not be found, I tried to rewrite! Two hours and no story ending later, I closed my computer and clutched my pillow. I asked God to please send the rest of the story and confessed being annoyed. Reading a prayer written by Joyce Myers comforted me before going to sleep.

“Thank You, Lord for giving me power, love, and a sound mind. Help me to discipline myself so I can enjoy a calm, well-balanced mind and use self-control in Jesus’ name, Amen”

Losing the story made me sad, but praying about it soothed my soul and helped me go to sleep.

Being annoyed was on my mind while driving to visit my brother and sister-in-law the next day. I was annoyed behind a slow driver on a curvy road but finally reached my destination. Before leaving, Billy asked me to watch The Shack with them. Reading the book years earlier touched my heart but negative reviews kept me from watching the movie. When my brother asked again, I couldn’t remember the last movie we’d watched together. So, I said, ‘yes’ and am glad I did.

The movie showed the agape love of our heavenly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit heal a grieving father’s heart and help his family come closer to Christ after the terrible tragedy that took their loved one from them. God was never annoyed by the man’s anger or anguish; He listened and loved deeply as His hurting child chose healing instead of hating. When the little girl’s daddy finally forgave his daughter’s killer, God told him saying ‘I forgive’ over and over would change his heart to live and love again. Jesus took time to walk and talk with him, help him face his fears, and assure him that He would always be with him.

The Holy Spirit gently guided and gave him peace on his journey to forgiveness, being aware of every teardrop and heartache. God was never annoyed; He just kept loving and lingering as His child healed from within. The man truly experienced and became very fond of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. His family healed and happiness found its way into their hearts again by God’s amazing grace. And I wept, for healing in my own heart happened while watching the movie I did not want to see.

Driving home, I said, “Lord, I’m sorry over and over. I prayed and pondered all the reasons God has to be annoyed with me…with His children from one end of the earth to another. Surely, He watches sadly as we make a mess of His creation and show little respect and reverent fear for our heavenly Father. Yet, He loves us and lingers as we work things out in our hearts and HOPEFULLY…make the choice to confess, forgive, and follow wherever He leads. God does not focus on annoyance; His concern and compassion for His children cause Him to love deeply, linger longer, forgive freely, and forget forever when we come to Him with repentant hearts. We can enjoy a close relationship with Christ our Savior, Father, Creator and Best Friend… when we let Him in…

Let’s make it a red letter day and invite Jesus into our hearts to stay!

By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.