Standing in church last week, my spirit was troubled. I never like it when my spirit is upset. Typically, my spirit is upset and overwhelmed by fear or worry. When I come into his house to praise Him, I experience peace. In most situations, my fear falls off and worry dissipates as I worship God, someone bigger and more capable than I am.
This day was like others, my fear and worry fell off. God reminded me of His love and care for even the sparrows. After all of the fear and worry fell off, my soul continued to feel a nagging troubling feeling. I asked God, “What is that?” I wanted to know if perhaps I was worrying about something I had not yet brought to my conscious mind yet.
His still small voice responded, “Remember what you came into church praying about?” My soul responded to Him, “Yes.” His response was crystal clear, “I am concerned about the same situation and people. What remains is My sadness surrounding this situation. You cannot push away this sadness unless you don’t wish to communicate with me. This sadness is something I am currently sharing with you.”
My spirit was shocked at God’s response. I was hoping for a typical worship service where all of my fear and worry fell away. Yes, God gave me lots of comfort and most of my fear and worry did fall away. What remained were His concerns. Typically, I would try and push away those feelings too. After all, feelings that don’t feel good are not from God, right? This time, instead of pushing away those feelings, God wanted me to talk to Him about His love and concerns for the people involved. Because God allows free will, our actions (when outside of His will) grieve God.
As the sermon started, the pastor spoke on the first chapter in John. He read John 1:5 “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (KJV).
After the pastor read this verse, he stopped his sermon and spoke on a tangent. “This is not in my sermon. However, I have a feeling someone in this congregation needs to hear this message.” “Sometimes, you will go into a situation as the light and you will expose darkness. You may not like it when this happens. However, if you are exposing darkness in a situation, you are doing what Jesus did. He walked into situations and as He walked into the situations He exposed darkness.”
Wow. The sermon spoke to me. My spirit during worship was praying over a situation where I perceived darkness. Unfortunately, my spirit was praying about a situation where there is darkness and others do not see the darkness. When my heart was speaking to Christ about the situation, His spirit was whispering to me, “Yes, Sarah. There is darkness. You see it. I see it and it grieves me.”
I went into church in prayer. (Although, I talk to God all the time and receive answers all the time, sometimes I receive clearer answers during worship or a message at church. It is one of the few times my life is peaceful and I am not surrounded by lots of joyful noise.)
When I walked into church my spirit was grieving and fearful, I wanted God to take away ALL of the negative emotions. He reminded me of His truths and graciously helped me walk out from under the fear. Next, I asked Him to remove the uncomfortable grieving my spirit was feeling. I didn’t want my soul to feel uncomfortable. However, He told me no. He wanted to communicate His feelings with me. So, instead of pushing the feelings away, I decided to FEEL the feelings and hear what He had to say about the situation.
My response to God reminds me of my husband’s response to me sometimes. When I am happy, he loves to be around me and craves my attention. If I am melancholy or sad, he will engage when I ask him to be present with my sadness. However, if I do not specifically ask him to talk to me about my sadness, my husband will choose to avoid me. He doesn’t do it on a conscious level. However, he knows if I am feeling sadness, and he engages with me, he will feel the sadness too. We are one person. When I am sad, he can’t help but be sad too (and vice versa).
As I thought about my husband’s response to my emotion, it brings me back to my own response to emotional pain. It is easier just to avoid emotional pain. Lately, I have a couple friends suffering from intense emotional pain as they are losing those closest to them. My heart cries for them. There isn’t much I can do as I read their facebook posts. I pray. I cry inwardly. What I need to do, is run to God. I need to cry out and pray to Him about their concerns. Praying on a deep level with Him.
Instead of asking Him to remove my emotional pain for them, I need to ask Him directly. “What are His thoughts about the pain these people are facing?” Will I feel sadness coming from His heart? Yes, I believe I will. Because when people God loves face pain, He feels the pain too. He cares and He wants to touch their hearts. However, usually, instead of crying out in prayer for the people I love suffering pain, I try to forget their pain. I attempt to distract myself. Sadness isn’t something I want to choose to feel right now.
However, maybe, as a follower of Christ, we don’t always get to choose the emotions we are feeling if we truly want to do His will here on earth. The Bible teaches us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)
Now, I believe I have some praying and weeping to do. Weeping is not my favorite emotion.
However, the Bible says the world will know we are Christians by our love for one another.
Love is action. Love is a choice of the will. The world wants us to believe Love is a choice of our emotions. However, if that were the case, Love would be volatile and untrustworthy. It would be ever-changing like our constantly changing emotion. We are told God is Love. We know He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is a constant. He is trustworthy. Therefore, Love is a commitment. Love is action. We chose to love. When I choose to weep in prayer for my sister in Christ, I choose to love.