Shut the Blasted Door
By Ed Uszynski
We’ve lived in our current house just short of 12 years.
At three times a day, that means I’ve requested someone shut the door leading to our laundry room around 12,672 times.
Amy and our four kids could care less about that door getting shut.
I’ve begged, raged, pouted, acted passive aggressive, slammed, punished—nothing works.
I sometimes fantasize about rigging it so anyone who walks through without closing the door gets an electric shock. Or sets off an eardrum-shattering alarm.
I like the shock idea better.
I mean, it’s come to that.
I’ve got my reasons for wanting it shut and I think they’re all good ones. But—and I think I seriously mean this—does it really matter?
Undoubtedly, someone in your home constantly does something that bothers you. That makes your blood boil. That thwarts your desire for control. That creates palpable stress.
But what if situations like these relatively slight but real moments actually exist to grow your patience? If biblical patience is the capacity to “endure discomfort without complaint,”* what better way to acquire it than with situations that repeatedly make us angry or upset?
What if by God’s Spirit, enduring small, petty annoyances actually trains us to handle bigger, more significant types of suffering along the way? Colossians 1:11 speaks of us being “strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience…”
Looking at that open door, I need power for endurance and patience just as much as I need it waiting for my spouse to grow, for a job to appear, or for the cancer to leave. They all involve the same raw feelings and the same Spirit-fueled solution.
Patient joy instead of electric-shock therapy.
But if you do come over, please…
Shut. The. Door.
The Good Stuff: Love is patient and kind. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Action points: When it comes to your spouse, what’s that pet peeve that drives you bananas? How might God’s Spirit be speaking to you—and hoping to change you—in your annoyance?
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