CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
By Lauren A. Birago
Lately I've presented the "raw" and gotten better results than trying to seek resolution. There are circumstances that have aroused fear, frustration, embarrassment, hopelessness, and anger to name a few; emotions that are common between all of us. Instead of asking God what I should do, I merely presented the facts. I stated that I was embarrassed and didn't know how to recover. I confessed that I was scared even though the spirit of fear is not of him. I shared that I was angry when the offense didn't necessarily merit that level of emotion. It was a relief to know I didn't have to figure out the plan to recover my neutral state. Just yesterday I told him that I had a bunch of mixed emotions, some of which I could not label, all of which I could not handle. I said, "You know the source of these feelings, I don't. You know how to identify them, I don't. You know how to resolve them, I don't and with that I'm just going to sit here. With that I'm just going to breathe."
My usual practice is to find an applicable scripture to counter the emotion; God does not give us the spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7), or be angry but sin not (Eph 4:26) for example. I use scriptures to override my state of mind like; you will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you (Isa 26:3). These truths should be the foundation upon which I rest, like a sturdy floor that I walk on without doubting its ability to support me. This floor however does not replace or determine the conversation in the room. God knows my humanity, he created it. God knows the emotions that birth the ones I see on the surface; he created them. God knows my personal makeup because he witnesses the past, present, and future experiences that form my character. The conversations with him therefore, are above the floor; they are the activity in the room.
My disclosures during my conflicted moments are occasions when he can remind me, in a very personal way, that these truths are not just affirmations during a time when the negative emotions need to diminish. Instead, they are a description of what he can do for me when I come to him in conflict. If I come to him first with my anger, will he let it fester without his help, leaving sin as the outstanding choice? If I come to him first with fear, will he leave me cowering and hiding from my foe whoever or whatever it is, instead of reminding me of his dominion over creation? If I come to him first with hopelessness, will he leave me in that place of despair rather than remind me of his omnipotence?
Last night I had no right to be angry. There was no offense. In fact the gesture was more helpful than I was choosing to perceive. Yet I could not reason my way out of the angry thoughts that fueled agitation; I could not affirm the power of scripture to keep myself from sinning; I could not distract myself with activity to override emotions that I know were rooted in something beyond this moment. I even spoke to God as I found small task after small task, trying to remain outside the doors where conflict would erupt if I trespassed. I went into a room, which I have designated for prayer, got on my knees and told God a few of the feelings I could identify, like inadequacy, fear, anger etc. I then acknowledged that there were more that I could not label. At that moment instead of saying God help me; take away this anger; show me how to respond appropriately and give me the power to do so, I followed my confessions with "so I'm going to just sit here," and I did. I even began to get sleepy in my stillness and peace, which was no doubt his response, for I was incapable of such an immediate shift on my own. I then got up to finish my nightly tasks, and was presented with something so far from my thoughts, but something that was perfect for sealing the angry space from which I came… for good.
In this I've learned that God doesn't necessarily require my use of his scripture to override the emotions that arrest patience and progress but to undergird the trust that he will. He invites me to sit on his "floor," which would undoubtedly support me, and cast my burdensome feelings on him, raw and misconstrued, then be still and breathe while he takes it from there.
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Pet 5:7 KJV)
Image source: *Claudine; Some rights reserved
Tags: Christian-Life | Depression | Personal-Life
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Published on 1-22-14