“They and their people were emotionally shaken, just as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.”
Emotions are a funny thing. One moment you can be full of joy and the next full of sorrow. Ever felt overwhelmed by multiple circumstances all pounding you simultaneously? Like a sledgehammer in the enemy’s hand, you are pounded down and discouraged. Where was the faith you had yesterday? It is in times like these that we have to take captive our emotions, which threaten to undo us.
The perceived lack of care from people around you can make the sting of pain more intense, making you feel boxed in with no means of escape from the oppression of hurt which has you bound. The operative word is “can”. God has given us emotions – we are meant to feel. When we suffer emotional pain, the temptation is to want to escape that crucible of suffering – but how do you escape from the pain in your own mind? This is perhaps what makes emotional pain so difficult to overcome.
I often try to guard myself from intense emotional pain, as it produces in my autoimmune system a physical response that is unpleasant and incapacitating. But sometimes surprises come and you feel the full impact of sorrow. I think God wants us to feel that pain, not avoid it. Emotional pain can lead us to our Savior’s feet, surrendered and desperate before Him. Hurt can, instead, be fuel for revival or self-absorbed pity parties.
Some pain is thrust upon us by others and some we presume in our own minds. Taking captive thoughts that are not biblical is the first step toward emotional wholeness. It is incredibly difficult to avoid fleshly thoughts of consolation, but doing so enables us to break out of the emotional bondage trying to enslave us. The saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is actually not true. Coming to the realization that everything is about God’s glory brings perspective that opens a door. A door for us to walk away from life’s surprises and people’s words that can either become sin through bitter unforgiveness or a doorway to victory and emotional freedom from anyone’s judgment. He has made us to be free, indeed – from emotional baggage, too.
Lord, we don’t like to be hurt or to suffer emotionally. But You know what that feels like, too. May we not resist the fruit of such suffering and glorify You in the midst.