Letting God’s love conquer your anger

Posted: Friday, October 06, 2006

La Bufadora, 17 miles south of Ensenada, Mexico, at the end of the Punta Banda Peninsula, is a spectacular marine geyser that explodes upwards sometimes as high as 80 feet above sea level, producing a tremendous sound.

This is the reason for its name, La Bufadora, which means The Blowhole.

Its tremendous roar seems to come from a huge angry animal at bay. Against this background of sound and fury, exploding water and flying spray, a legend has come down through the years: “The Legend of the Whale Jail.”

A century ago, within sight of The Blowhole, there was a whaling station below the bluff close to the water’s edge.

The whalers spun a yarn of a mother whale returning to the Arctic with her new-born calf from the breeding grounds at Scammon Lagoon in Guerrero Negro, 400 miles south.

One night the baby whale skipped away to explore a mysterious underwater cave in the cliffs of Punta Banda. A whale calf grows very fast — 50 pounds a day — and this little fellow stayed in the cave all night. By morning he was too big to squeeze through the narrow, crevice-like entrance of the cave.

The following day the whalers in the camp saw a small spout rising mysteriously from the cave and heard the frightened sobs of the trapped baby whale. As years passed the spouts grew larger, his lamentations louder.

Legend says that the spout, accompanied by a tumultuous crash emerging from The Blowhole today, is the spout and fulmination of a still-trapped but now full-grown leviathan.

Regardless of the yarn, La Bufadora and Old Faithful — the famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming — have something in common: both have a tremendous buildup in pressure that is finally released by a tremendous spout of water into the sky, accompanied by a great roar.

That reminds me of Sam.

Don’t we all have a Sam or Samantha in our circle of friends? The one who seems to go along so well until something sets him off and there is a big explosion.

Like Old Faithful, except you never know when Sam will go off.

As I was saying, that reminds me of Sam. Sam had this temper problem. If things went wrong he would lose control.

As an example, in his younger days, Sam milked cows by hand. Now cows have tails. Cow’s tails attract cockleburs. Cows swish their tails at flies even when someone is milking them.

Sam would get so angry at the cows, whose cocklebur-filled tails hit him in the face, that he would take his milking stool and beat them with it, sort of like La Bufadora; when the pressure got so high, something had to give.

King Solomon put it this way: “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls,” Proverbs 25:28.

Sam’s uncontrolled temper stayed with him. That is, until one day when he was a father of twins. The twins were colicky, irritable, and crying.

Nothing Sam did helped calm them down. All at once, he discovered that he was beating them, his little babies.

When this happened, he rushed from the house to be alone. There he cried out to God: “Oh God, look what I’m doing. I don’t want to do this. But I can’t control myself. You have to do it for me.”

And God did.

I later saw Sam stand quietly before another, much smaller man as he berated Sam about a certain matter. Rather than becoming angry, Sam responded with kindness and gentleness. He offered to make amends for something over which he had no control.

Sam, by God’s grace, had conquered his spirit.

Sam had discovered the true meaning of the Scripture that states: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” Philippians 4:13.

He learned God would enable him to control his anger. He discovered that, rather than the uncontrolled bursts of anger like the outbursts from La Bufadora, he could respond with kindness.

Do you have an uncontrollable anger problem or an uncontrollable tongue?

Do as Sam did. Let God make a difference in your life, in your marriage and in your home.

La Bufadora is great to see, as a tourist, but it is a terrible thing to be, as a human being.

Charles Thornton is pastor at-large of Peninsula Grace Brethren Church, 44175 Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna. Sunday worship is at 11 a.m., and Bible classes are at 9:30 a.m.

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