I don’t want to admit it.

But to tell you about the Gift, I have to.

Circumstances have conspired to make me aware of an undercurrent of anger in my life at the moment. Not people. It’s nothing anyone has done or said specifically. But things that have happened, mainly out of my control, have built a simmering anger that threatens to burst at the smallest provocation.

I don’t like the person I realised I was becoming or the reactions that happened spontaneously in response to both kindness or provocation.

So I spoke to God about it. Yet I found I did not have the words to describe my feelings which were sharp and brittle, spikey, defensive, muddled.

“Draw it,” He said to me.

So I did.

A pile of metal shafts with arrow points on both ends tumbled from the point of my pen. All directions, different lengths, they splayed across the page.

But that did not describe the agro within. So I drew barbs on each one. That was more like it.

” Don’t get near me,” they said. “Don’t touch me.”

It was uncomfortable to look at but it depicted the sensations churning inside me. In my mind’s eye, I saw myself picking up the drawing gingerly (the spikes were sharp, like razor wire) and offering it to Jesus. He is the only One I know who could deal with such anger.

And I watched as He opened His hands and spread them before me to take my offering. Beautiful hands, long fingers, with scars on the palm.

But He did not take the drawing. He took the razor-sharp pile of shafts off the page in His bare hands. And with His fingers, He brushed off the barbs and the arrow points and they fell away.

Then, cupping the now smooth shafts, He brought His hands together and moulded the rods of metal, working them as we would squeeze a piece of clay.

In the past. when I have given something to Jesus like this, He has taken it and put it behind Him. Out of sight.

“Your sins are forgiven.”

But this time was different.

This time, He stretched out His hands to me and offered me a gift.

For He had moulded my anger into something that I have since drawn again and again.

It is a picture I cannot get out of my mind. I wish I could put a drawing on here, but my knowledge of technology does not stretch that far so I will describe it to you.

Each metal shaft had become a living twig. Each twig had a spring-green leaf on it – some open, some just buds. Some of the twigs had long roots. And the twigs were woven in that symbol of supreme love.

His cross.

Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.

Now, once again, I know that He loves me and has not forsaken me, in spite of my anger.

Now, once again, there is hope.

And there is peace.

Circumstances have not changed. But the downward swirl into the depths of anger has been replaced with the light of hope and growth and the promise that my Saviour loves me in spite of how I feel and what is happening around me.

This is a gift I will cherish.

Thank you, Jesus.

Please, if you are at odds with the world and with yourself, tell Jesus – in words or pictures, and let Him help you. He will never reject you, because, however you feel, you are God’s creation and He longs to hold you close.

Don’t let life get in the way to stop you from experiencing His love.


God bless you.

About Mandy Hackland

My love in life is to encourage others to deepen their relationship with God. I write devotional material, stories and small group studies with that in mind. I live in South Africa and also love spending time in the bush, bird watching and walking. I have moved to the coast and am enjoying the green spaces and beautiful vistas that surround me, reminding me of God's grace every day.
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1 Response to Gift

  1. Ingrid Turton says:

    This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing, Mandy. The words seaeched deep into my soul.


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