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What Your Feelings Prove

Jesus’ intention for us as believers is never to suppress the truth of our emotions and put on fake religious smiles, attempting to deal with very natural feelings on our own. When life hurts, we hurt just as He did—and that’s simply okay. He never wants us to beat up our hearts as they bleed, kicking our emotions to the side, quoting Scripture at them in anger, or willing ourselves to change. Pain brings deepest brokenness, and a hurting child always wants to run into the consoling, safe arms of a loving parent. Feeling our pain doesn’t prove that we lack faith—it proves our need for constant connection with God. –Christa Black Gifford, Heart Made Whole (emphasis mine)

I’ve been watching some of the docu-series attempting to expose Scientology lately. They say that anyone with questions or doubts will be “written up,” labeled, and possibly expelled from the church if they don’t play along with the intimidation. So instead of dealing with that level of hostility and rejection, many people simply fall in line and pretend it’s all fine.

I can’t say I’ve experienced the severe tactics and sheer craziness of what Scientology employs, but I have felt the pressure to keep quiet about your pain, to silence your struggle. You aren’t still dealing with that, are you? or something like, That was so long ago…

Sometimes it’s internal and other times you feel it from external sources. You’re supposed to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him, right? All this pain and baggage needs to be denied and if you have enough faith you’ll get past it… Only it never quite works.

The problem is, Jesus felt pain on earth. He struggled. We don’t have a lot of examples laid out for us, but the Garden of Gethsemane is certainly a prime example. He felt every ounce of the crushing enormity of what He was facing and He brought it to the Father.

What a beautiful picture that is for us. Feeling the pressure, the pain, the hurt–it’s not because you need to be more spiritual and rise above. You need to connect to the Father.

This is a lesson I’m learning and struggling to learn. It can feel a bit lonely at times because pain makes people uncomfortable and expressing great pain can drive people away. There is One, however, who will never run away when you bring Him your pain, anger, and struggle.

If I can just touch the hem of His robe… That’s the statement of a person who’s endured lonely struggle and will stop at nothing to be with the Healer. I do pray the body of Christ will become more loving and patient toward those in pain (myself certainly included), but at the same time, there is always Jesus to run to. There is the Holy Spirit. There is our glorious Father.

Feel what you feel and let it push you to connection with Him. That’s the cure we’re all looking for.

What are your thoughts on this? Why do we often shy away from pain or people in pain? What do you do when you’re struggling?

hmwWelcome to week 9 of our book club discussion of Heart Made Whole by Christa Black GiffordWe are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, add your link to the widget below since my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s out of town this week, but don’t forget to check out her post. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, feel free to dive into the conversation!

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  1. I believe we’re afraid of pain. That fear paralyzes our heart …it lies about who God is. We think pain is deserved, that it is punishment for bad behavior…that leads us to doubt God’s goodness. Thankfully, His word reminds us of the truth!

    “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

    He uses all things to bring us into wholeness…even our pain. Recently went through some of this and discovered how this poison sneaks into our heart and how much we need the Holy Spirit to root it out. Sometimes, that is a painful experience but one that brings freedom!

    Thanks for sharing your heart….Merry Christmas my friend!

    • You are so right, Jay. Thanks so much and merry Christmas to you too. I appreciate you!

  2. Did I skip a chapter while reading the book? Goodness, Jason, I thought last week was the last week, but I’m so gratified to read your reflection here and Glynn’s, too.
    I think what Jay said is spot on -- we’re afraid of pain because, well, it’s painful! We do need to ask God’s help when we are in pain or seeking to comfort another going through a trial. As Christians, we should be the first to reach out to others with compassion and love.

    • No, I think you got ahead over Thanksgiving week. I had sent you a message on Twitter, but I don’t think you saw it. 🙂 And yes, what you say is so true--and can only happen as we let God’s greater love touch us to love others. Thanks so much, Martha!

  3. That was a great quote from the book. I think often the people that don’t want to hear about the troubles of others is because they have too much of their own that they can’t fix and have refused to turn it over to God and or deal with the hurts that all of us endure.

    Myself included. The troubles prove of our need of Him.

    • Now that is a great point. It reminds us of all the junk we’re letting pile up and don’t want to acknowledge. Yeah, we gotta surrender. Plain and simple. Thanks Floyd. Be blessed!

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