Emotions Part 2 (The Gift of Pain)
Several years ago I repaired cars in a large workshop that I consistently tried to make more usable by adding insulation and making other improvements. One day I planned to install insulated 4-foot by 8-foot ceiling panels. By climbing to the very top of a stepladder and holding the panel in place with the top of my head, I drove nails to hold it in place. Once the panel was secure enough to stay in place by itself, I reduced the amount of pressure on my head and more comfortably drove the remaining nails. At one point during this process, I missed the nail I was pounding and instead whacked my finger flat. It instantly went numb, but I knew it was really going to hurt. The immediate nausea, dizziness, and pain were not all that had to be endured. It took a long time for that finger to heal, partly due to the fact that others or myself were constantly bumping it. It seemed I was continually in excruciating pain, and I found myself protecting that finger at all costs because IT HURT!
As with physical injury, we also have events that emotionally hurt us, "flatten" us, and make us bleed. The terrible pain puts us on guard to protect ourselves from bumping those sore spots. We also are on guard against others bumping any tender areas because IT HURTS! While the immediate pain of these events eventually lessens, the memory of the hurt tempts us to retain those self-protection walls. However, God is calling us to freedom from the pastís hold on us. He wants us to walk in the healing He offers.
If you are like most people I encounter, you probably feel you are unlovable, unacceptable, unwanted, worthless, hopeless, useless, stupid, a failure, guilty, or any number of things. Be encouraged that God does not want you to believe lies. You have feelings, but you are not what you feel. Just as my having had a sore finger did not make me one, so also your painful emotional hurts do not mean that you are what you feel. The next time you feel your negative emotions, know that God has not removed them because He wants to use them as a reminder: apart from Him you cannot do anything.
Verses For Reflection
"Get up and pray for help all through the night. Pour out your feelings to the Lord, as you would pour water out of a jug." (Lamentations 2:19)
"But even if we donít feel at ease, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything." (1 John 3:20 CEV)
"But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-controlÖ You have already been pruned for greater fruitfulness by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me." (Galatians 5:22& 23 & John 15:3&4 NLT)