Thursday, 14 June 2012

Struggling with emotions.

Struggling with emotions.

I am human, that’s how God created me.  That is beautiful, I get tingles down my back every time I remember that I am created by God.

But being human has this attachment of emotions.  Life would truly be awful without them, but they do bring you down so much too.

Joy is one of my favourite emotions.  I often shout it aloud, with hollers and cries, I love to share my joy and celebrations with everybody, sometimes, very rarely, a different sort of joy happens, a joy that I hide away, it peeps out with a quiet smile, but joy it is.  Some joy I cannot contain, and burst with the excitement and pleasure of it, some joy is so simply beautiful and so beautifully perfect it emerges in a quiet smile.

Sometimes emotions tear us apart.  Longing for something that you know is just out of reach.  Dread, the imminent approach of something you know is going to be awful.  Fear, worry, sadness, the list is endless.

Is it actually endless though? No, it does have an end, and God is that end, He brings light into darkness.  God is bigger than our emotions.  I find emotions particularly scary because they are so intangible, they are not something that you can grab and throw in the bin, and they are hard to control.  But God is almighty, He is all powerful.  God is the Alpha and the Omega; He is the Beginning and the End.  He is eternal.  God removes our fears, our worries .   He tells us to stop longing for things that we want, but to turn to Him, and He will provide the things that we need (Philippians 4:19).

This scares me.  I look and see that God says He will provide the things I need, but then I say, ‘I need this…’ And does it appear? No, I say, ‘I need that…’ And does it appear? No.  I started to go around in circles, in the end I realised my problem.  I had got hooked on this idea that I knew what I needed.  I was stuck on this idea that as it is me living this life, I know what is best for me.  In fact, what I really needed is to rely on and trust in God.  I couldn’t see that though, because I was living my own life, controlling my life.  I had the keys to my car, and I had my foot down, hard, driving in the wrong direction. 

‘Bruce Almighty’ is not my favourite film, but that scene when Bruce is driving along the road, angry with God, he so easily misses the signs, ‘SLOW DOWN’, ‘STOP’.  It is clear to the viewer that God is speaking to Bruce, but to Bruce he is just living his life, controlling it, trying to get what he thinks he needs.  It is easy to watch that film and laugh at Bruce, to call him an idiot, and judge him for being so oblivious.  But that is exactly what I was like, all the warning signs are there, I just couldn’t or wouldn’t see them.  I didn’t want to, I thought I knew what I needed and I was stretching, reaching, grabbing for it.

Then my life crashed.  It felt like my world was falling apart around me.  Someone I loved, who I thought loved me, turned around and accused me.  Wrongly accused me.  I lost my trust in people, and had nowhere else to turn.  It was when I felt the lowest, that I turned to God, I cried out, I blamed Him.  All my life I’d been trying to follow Him, and now it felt like He had left me in this mess, this pile of rubble, with nowhere to turn to.

Through help from my family, and my family at Church, I slowly worked back up again, from falling flat over, I began to get myself up.  Slowly I began to stop blaming God, I began to realise what I had done wrong, I realised that my reliance and trust had been in the wrong thing.  I had turned to God to blame Him, rather than to accept His forgiveness, and His love.

I suddenly realised that when God said He’d provide everything I needed, He was talking about the things He knew I needed (Philippians 4:19).  God is out of time, this is impossible to completely understand, but I know that it means He can see me when I was a tiny baby, at the same time as seeing me now, as well as seeing me when I am 68.  He has these amazing, incredible plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11) but they’re not going to be fulfilled if I am selfish and only seek the things I think that I need.  What I really need is to trust in God, to trust in His timing and rely on His love. 

How do I trust God?  Trust is not something I find easy.  For me trusting other people is extremely hard, how do I know that they’re not going to hurt me, I don’t.  But God?  He created me, I am a chosen daughter of God, and He loves me beyond measure (Psalm 139).  God is never going to hurt me, that doesn’t mean that with God life is a doddle, it doesn’t mean everything happens how you want, it doesn’t mean that life runs smoothly, without a glitch.  Trusting in God will mean I live my life to the fullest possible (2 Peter 1:3 and John 10:10), how could there be anything better? 

But still, this trust thing, it’s hard.  But in God all things are possible (Philippians 4:13).  There is no way I am ever going to be able to trust in God fully by myself.  But if I turn to Him, and I ask for His help and assistance, each day it will become that little bit easier.

I still long for things, things that I think I need, but God is helping me with that.  I ask Him to help me to trust Him, so that I can trust Him to provide everything that I need (1 Timothy 6:17).  Emotions are never easy to deal with by yourself, but in God, all emotions can be sorted and the best can be brought out of them. Joy. Love. Peace. And more.  All can be found in their fullest and most complete form, in God.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12 NIV, emphasis added)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  (Psalm 23:4)

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  (Matthew 6:25-27)

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.  (Matthew 6:34)