I wonder how easy it is for us to be honest with God about our feelings and challenges (even with Him) after we have known Him for a little while. Do we lay it all out for Him or do we couch what we feel, fear, or think because we have learned enough about Him and how we know He loves us and will provide that we don’t risk it? Is it okay to know all that and still express to Him what He can clearly see we feel? If we can’t, how much do I/we really trust Him?
As I have shared some of the journal entries from my former client’s last journal in the months before she died, one thing I have discovered is how direct and honest she is with the Lord. At that point in time she was in her late forties and had known the Lord for some time. She had worked through a lot of losses and pain, served in various ministry positions and leadership roles. During these months near the end of her life, she was able to process with Him exactly what she was feeling.
Let me share one example:
“I know His timing is perfect, but my watch says this has gone on long enough.
I know He is my strength, but can’t this be enough? One more minute, one more hour, one more day! You are my strength…I know you won’t take me home one day before my job is done! But today in my anger I scream: ENOUGH!!
The world tells you to take a pill, read this, go here, go there, watch this, drink that, and smoke this! Divert! Deny! Pretend! Run away!
I can’t! My body goes with me. My pain is always here – it goes with me! And that’s why today, I’m angry! I can’t stop what’s happening. I can’t make it go away! I can’t ignore it or deny it! It’s here! And I’m angry! DAMN!
And you know what? It’s okay. It’s okay that I feel my anger, write it down, say it…whatever! It’s okay. God understands. He still loves me. I didn’t knock Him off His throne, didn’t shock him! Its okay! He still loves me! I still love Him! He understands! Thanks, Father God! Thank you for letting me be real!”
As I wrote down her words that I have read other times since her journal came to me, I smiled when I typed about God not being shocked or knocked off His throne because she was angry at the pain and agony she was experiencing. How often we feel those feelings and yet never risk processing those very things with Him?
She processed them and as you read her words, you see how once she said them she was free to remind herself and Him of the truth of what she knew about Him.
A few pages later, she describes anger in such a great way:
“He knows how I feel. And I know – He’s still here! Holding it in can make it worse; it will come out one way or the other. Shake a can of pop – then open it…it goes all over – spraying out in lots of directions.
Anger’s like that. Pressure builds till that last straw comes, then WHAM – it’s everywhere!
God has taught me – it’s okay. Let it out. Vent it. Write it, Say it, whatever! Then give it to Him!! He knows just what to do with it.”
Linda was real about the loss of so many aspects of her life. She named and expressed her emotions in her times with the Lord and then did give them over to Him. But anger was not the only enemy she fought with regularly. Another potent enemy was fear even though she knew her destination was with Jesus on the other side of death.
“FEAR! FEAR! Fear! FEAR!! It comes in all sizes, shapes, and intensities. It comes at all hours. It comes when least expected, but it comes. We all know II Timothy 1:7 says God has NOT given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind!
But fear still comes. It comes in the darkness of the night when the house is quiet, no one else is awake and your sleep is interrupted by pain or nightmares. It comes when even God seems so far away!
During the day I can fight the fear with God’s Word that comes to my mind from deep within my heart. Yet at times, panic comes. Help me fight the fear, Lord, in your name, amen!”
As you hear her words, as I type them, I hope each of us gains courage to be real with the Lord. It won’t knock Him off His throne!