When I am in my professional world such as a music therapist in the past, a school secretary, or now as a ministry assistant and can control my emotions and feeling fairly well. Of course, there are times when someone has said something that may be a trigger for me and then it becomes more difficult to keep how I am feeling on the inside spilling out on everyone around me; however, I am usually able to keep how I am feeling on the inside so I can do my job better. As I look at all the jobs I have held in the past, they have all been jobs that require a lot of interaction with other people and being able to work with people without reacting emotionally to everything that is thrown at me is a good skill to have. That skill falls to pieces when I am at home. I find myself reacting to everything that my children say or do when it rolls off my back anywhere else. I thought about why I have been able to separate my feelings at work but unable to do so at home and I think it is because I have a lot more emotionally invested at home. My husband and children are the people I love deeply and so I feel my emotions stronger with them. I also trust my family and I know they love me for who I am. They are the same as well; they react stronger to me and everyone else in the family than anyone else in their lives. We can be that way with God; after all, He already knows how we feel anyway.
Yesterday, I talked about the importance of an honest prayer; God just wants us to be honest with our needs and desires. Today I want to focus very specifically about our emotions when we are coming to God. In the last two weeks I have heard from a couple sources that reading through the Psalms gives us an idea of how honest and emotional God wants our prayers to be. If you read through the Psalms, you will see when the author can be elated and full of praise and other times very sad. The interesting thing is that sometimes we can also read Psalms that express hurt and anger and they even question God. Please turn to Psalm 79. Scholars believe this Psalm was written after the Israelites were brought into captivity and the Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. Please notice the heavy emotion that is poured out in this Psalm and in particular notice the questions the author asks. Can you feel the deep emotion in verse 5? “How long, O LORD? Will you be angry forever? How long will Your jealousy burn like fire?” I don’t believe the author asked these questions quietly as he wrote this Psalm; I can picture him beating his chest and crying out, “HOW LONG?!”
God is not afraid of our emotions, remember He understands them completely because we are made in His image (Genesis 1:26). God wired us with the very emotions He feels. We can come to Him in desperation and hurt as well as joy and praise. When we are completely honest with our emotions, we can experience the healing that we need. If I am not honest with my family about how I feel, they will never know what makes me happy or what hurts me. Likewise, if we are not honest with the deep emotions in our heart, we will never truly grow in our relationship with God.
Have you been emotionally honest in your prayers with God?