Dealing with Feelings

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Photo by: J Rodman Jr.

Troubles come. Like the involuntary response of breathing, troubles come without us thinking about them. It’s a fact of life. In this world we will face circumstances, sometimes devastating circumstances, but it’s part of the human experience, right? Yes, but…

We still have to deal with the fall out from these situations. Feelings of heartbreak, loss, grief, betrayal, fear – they have to be dealt with somehow. Emotions are real, but, if they are left alone to grow and take root in our lives they morph into: self-pity, jealousy, bitterness, mistrust and more fear. They become the master, and we each become their slave.

Ok – so what? Should we just stuff them away pretending they don’t exist? No, denying emotions is ineffective at best and ultimately can produce Pompeii-sized eruptions, spewing debris on those around us and leaving us miserable, vulnerable and lost.

True, we are emotional beings. However, as beneficial as emotions are, there is a downside. Painful emotions can take on a life of their own unless we are brave enough to face them and seek healing in Christ.

“We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” Hebrews 4:15-16 MSG

Jesus, is so ready to help as we acknowledge the pain and emotions that need to be addressed. He lovingly begins to lift our brokenness as soon as we begin to surrender it to Him. He generously comforts us as we apply the balm of His Word to our situation, our emotions, our healing.  He wraps us in His grace and sustains us as we heal.

“All praise goes to God, Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. He is the Father of compassion, the God of all comfort.  He consoles us as we endure the pain and hardship of life so that we may draw from His comfort and share it with others in their own struggles.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (VOICE)

“This is my comfort and consolation in my affliction: that Your word has revived me and given me life.” Psalm 119:50 (AMP)

It’s a process and it takes some time, but our God will bring us through it – stronger, revived and ready to come along side someone else who is in need.

Slave to my emotions? Uh… No, not this girl!

Lost in the Busy

Stop the glorification of busyI felt challenged a few weeks ago to stop using busyness as a reason, or excuse, for doing or not doing something, or as a way to express how I am or how my day is.  Then today in my prayer time, I gave voice to something that I hadn’t really thought about before. I told the Lord that sometimes, “I get lost in the busy.”

Busyness is a distraction, an illusion in our culture. We had to develop new words to quantify our busyness like multi-tasking. But the kind of busyness I’m talking about is the result of a disquieted heart and a troubled mind, full of worry and stress. Like Martha in Luke 10, it can be said of me at times, “Jan, Jan, you are anxious and troubled about many things.” How about you? Can this ever be said of you? Do you ever get lost in the busy?

Jesus said,  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-30, NASB)

When we get lost in the busy, we have no rest for our souls. The burdens of life, the pressure to succeed, to be all that you can be –  honestly, it can feel like an enormous, overflowing pot of stress and unattainable expectations. We get into trouble because we try to find our value in the long list of things we do and accomplish. But it’s all just smoke and mirrors.

My value and your value is found in the One who loved us so much He gave up everything He had – for us. God places value on us. He prepared a life for us, a game plan, to be all He created us to be. We need to learn to let our yeses, be Spirit-led and our no’s be Spirit-led.

I’m learning to let go of unrealistic expectations and allow God to set my priorities. Real rest, won’t happen by accident or because I take a vacation. Real rest, comes from the inside and it is only found in intimate fellowship with Christ.

Won’t you join me in letting go of the busy tag to describe your day, your life?

The Overwhelmed Heart

Sometimes situations, circumstances, the stuff of life, can become overwhelming. It goes beyond the facts of the situation. Often the feeling of being overwhelmed comes from the U-factor – fear of the unknown. “When will this end?” “What’s going to happen to me?” ” How will we pay for all of this?” Oh, and let’s not forget the ever popular, “What if…”. After all, “what if” is never followed by anything good, right?

“O God, listen to me! Hear my prayer! For wherever I am, though far away at the ends of the earth, I will cry to you for help. When my heart is faint and overwhelmed, lead me to the mighty, towering Rock of safety.” Psalm 61:1-2  TLB

I read this scripture and I notice something right away. The psalmist says when my heart is faint and overwhelmed. That tells me that I will feel faint and overwhelmed at times. But I noticed something even better! No matter where I am, I can call out to God for help. I can’t go anywhere in this world where He can’t hear my cry for help.

Even better is the fact that He will lead me to the mighty, towering Rock of safety. I love the way The Voice translation says it, “You are the One I will call when pushed to the edge, when my heart is faint. Shoulder me to the rock above me.”

What an image! God lifting me up on His shoulder and placing me in the safe zone. A place of  security; one that I can’t reach on my own. I can only find that place of refuge, defense and peace in Christ.

I don’t have the ability to provide refuge from the storms of life for myself. But I can cry out to my heavenly Father who does have the ability to provide refuge. As I trust Him to lift me up and place me on the Rock, I begin to feel less overwhelmed, less faint. The passage goes on to say, “For You are my protection, an impenetrable fortress from my enemies. Let me live in Your sanctuary forever; let me find safety in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 61: 3-4 The Voice translation.

If you suffer from an overwhelmed heart today, a faint heart today, cry out to your heavenly Father. He will hear you – no matter where you find yourself. He alone can lift you out of turmoil and danger. He alone can lift you up to the safe zone, to a place you cannot reach on your own. He has provided Jesus, the “mighty, towering Rock of safety” as a fortress. Won’t you let Him help you today?

I have found rest in the shadow of His wings… you can too.