John 11:35 - the shortest verse in the Bible - Jesus wept.
Friday I cried. It was a pretty rough day, emotionally. I felt like I couldn't stop crying. Yet, when it came down to it, it wasn't grieving for Savannah that caused the pain. It was an all out, little whiny baby fit, and I knew it. I wanted what I wanted so bad, and I knew the answer was no or not right now, but I didn't want to accept it. I knew that the only way to have peace was to get back into that place of trust, to accept God's will for my life, and I kept telling God that I wanted to but I just couldn't. Yet I knew that the truth was more that I wouldn't. Yes, it was so incredibly hard - yes all my wants were natural, normal, legitimate in the world's eyes things, but that didn't make them any less full of self. So I cried. And Jesus held me, even as I continued to try to push Him away. As if I could actually go off on my own, get control over my emotions, and then come back to His presence. Ha! Eventually the tears stopped and I was ready to get back up and walk along His path, however long it might be til His not now became a now. (I was still struggling with giving over enough to accept an all out no. LOL)
At one point during that night, I looked in the mirror and what I saw scared me. I saw eyes that were dull and dead. I saw where holding onto my wants would lead - a place of bitterness and pain. I looked into the abyss and I didn't like what I saw. I worried that I was a total hypocrite writing the things I've written here about God's grace and peace, His love and sovereignty while allowing myself to give into the doubt and selfishness all that day. And I cried out for God to help me to trust Him and to give me His joy. I had some wonderful prayer warrior friends praying for me too. And peace came. God is so good!
I had a wonderful talk with a friend of mine today. We were discussing whether thoughts and emotions like fear and sadness were wrong. She was concerned that if God considered my emotions on Friday to be *sin* that that would mean He was not a loving, compassionate, understanding God. I think that the problem is that we don't like the word sin. It's an uncomfortable word, for sure. We tend to think that when we sin, God will (and should) punish us. But if the definition of sin is anything that is not born of faith, then, yes, those thoughts of mine were sin. And even if one is of the opinion that the thought itself is not sin, but hanging onto it is - I stand guilty as charged. But does that mean God rejects me and punishes me for it? Absolutely not!
I have often said that we don't need to *do* all the "right" things, act the right way etc. in our own strength. It will never work. All God wants from us is to *love Him* with all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength. Just love Him, be with Him, stay in Him, and He will work all those things out within us and grow us to be more like Him - all Him living through us.
What I wasn't taking into account, and where my friend was so incredibly right to point out to me today, was that it is the same with our thoughts and emotions, not just our actions. Instead of crying out, "Lord, I believe! Help, thou my unbelief!" I was trying to put on the mind of Christ in my own strength. Perhaps God allowed the down time, even knowing that I would fall, to teach me that even taking my thoughts captive is not something that I can ever do - but something that Jesus must do through me as I just tuck into Him under His wings
- and sometimes
let the tears flow
while never letting go