I semi-wake in the middle of the night thinking on these things. Not only are we born with a fully functioning sin and self nature of our own (which easily desires to take us in a direction other than God), but we’ve also been born into a family with it’s own reactive threads that have unknowingly been woven into our lives.
Each family and generation has needs and deficiencies and wounds, as well as blessings that have touched their lives. Then depending on each person’s reactions (good or bad) and their acceptance or rebellion of what is given to them and what is inflicted on them as to how the next generation is affected and touched in their lives and souls. The pain and wounds are frequently passed down through the generations – they are gifts that just keep on giving!
This is one reason why sin is so deadly and displeasing to God – it has far reaching consequences with a kickback effect allowing it to continue to wound and reverberate through the years and lives of others. (A child who is abused, controlled, or simply feels unloved will most likely try to compensate for this, in a variety of unhealthy ways. The pain drives them to do things which then affect others.) And on and on the cycle goes.
Each of us have some fetters and weights placed upon us – by life, by our parents, by our family. We have had some good given to us, but we’ve also been given much that is life–challenging, love-draining, peace-stealing, patience-affecting, joy-robbing, and goodness-smothering and affects our lives and souls.
But still God calls each of us to live a life that reverberates love-knowing, joy-experiencing, peace-overflowing, patience-bearing, goodness-producing, and life-abundant.
How can this be?
It only happens as we go to the One who has all – all love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, truth, and healing.
It only happens as we learn to fill our broken cisterns with His healing touch. We sit beneath His cleansing flow and fountain. We let Him touch our inmost places where our souls are broken and hurting.
It is on this part of the journey that I still feel like such a novice. I feel like I stand at God’s supply wall having no idea what I need. I picture a large warehouse wall with rock-climbing supplies needed to scale awe-inspiring heights. Because I’ve never rock-climbed before, I stand there confused and unsure about the apparatus I need for this task. I stand at God’s supply wall, thinking, “I don’t know what it is that I need to feel better.” And I feel like I can’t reach any of it.
But I am told that I can reach it. And that it’s mine and it’s free and it’s available in Christ. I am still learning how to go to Him and avail myself of ALL that is in Him and that is life-giving and soul-healing and strength-refreshing.
The process starts by bringing God my brokenness and sharing/confessing that. So I begin by figuring out what I’m feeling and then sharing that with God. Untangling, then identifying my jumble of feelings is not easy.
Initially I only know I feel bad. But I’m learning to identify whether I feel sad, lonely, fearful, angry, maybe even unaccepted or unloved. Then I can find what it is that I need from God’s good hand.
Recently, our Pastor shared a sermon on the importance of songs in the Bible, including Revelation, the climax of God’s story. Our Pastor who is musically gifted, shares that he uses songs to help him pray. For example, when he is lonely he sings, “I am Thine own Lord,” or “Abide with Me;” when he is ill, he sings Isaiah 53; when he is fearful, he sings “Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace;” when Satan flings accusations at him he sings, “Calvary Covers it All.” When he feels tired and weary, he sings, “Keep me true – there is a race I must run.” It struck me later – Wow, he knows what he’s feeling! Only then he is able to avail himself of God’s peace.
Check out the Psalms. David and the other Psalm-writers were pros at working through their feelings with God. In fact, you’ll find that often they started out sharing how rotten they felt and as they admitted this, by the end of the Psalm, they were praising God. Simply because they got honest and admitted how they felt under God’s goodness and watchful eye.
Yep, sometimes I’m a mess. To all the males in my life who listen to me, love me, and walk with me as I face my issues I say, thank you.
And to God who can, wants to, and will, liberate us from our fetters and weights that hold us back, my soul sings.