April 28, 2022
Tell God How You Feel
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask” (John 11:21-22 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Have you ever been in a season where you walk through one hard thing after another?
Have you ever struggled to talk with God about how you feel in that season?
One of the reasons we may struggle with talking with our Heavenly Father is we’ve been told that strong faith leaves little room for doubts and questions. The problem with that reasoning is it discounts story after story of people in the Bible crying out to God, asking hard questions, and grappling with how to trust in hard seasons.
Consider John the Baptist, who was in prison and sent a message to Jesus to ask if He was really the Messiah (Matthews 11:2-4). Let’s look at Elijah the prophet, who shortly after a huge miracle, fought discouragement so great that God sent an angel to comfort him (1 Kings 19:9-18). Then there was a father who asked Jesus to heal his sick son, even as he cried out, “I believe. Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
In my own life, I’m wrestling with the impending loss of my younger brother. He’s not just my brother, he’s my buddy and I’m grieving. I have had a lot of big feelings and hard questions over the last several weeks. Perhaps that’s why I’m so drawn to the encounter between Martha, Mary, and Jesus.
As two sisters weep over the loss of a brother, Martha meets her friend Jesus with these words:
‘“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask”’ (John 11:21-22 NIV).
What I love about this passage is that Martha doesn’t hide her grief from Jesus. She is brave enough to ask Him the burning question on her heart. You can hear her trust in Jesus, even as she expresses her pain.
When we bring our big feelings and hard questions to Jesus, intimidation is replaced with intimacy. We are honest about our fears. We grapple with the heavy and hard stuff, and faith still rises – for who better to bring questions to than to God Himself?
When you and I push down emotions, they don’t go away. They simply fester. They will erupt at some point, perhaps days, weeks, or years later. Taking them to the One who loves you and who knows you is wise.
If you’ve been feeling big feelings and are carrying any sense of shame about that, would you consider this? God not only created you to feel, but He cares about how you feel. Those feelings have value. They are telling you where you need hope, where you might need encouragement. They inform you that you might need comfort, counsel, healing, or a place to bring them to the Light.
And as you share them with God, who loves you more than you can imagine, you are inviting Him to walk through those emotions with you.
That’s intimate faith.
Heavenly Father, there will be sorrow and sadness and hard places, but there’s joy even there as You walk through those places with us. I’m bringing how I feel to You today. I’m opening my mouth and my heart to share my faith, my doubts, my trust, and my questions. Thank You for listening, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Who taught you to hide your emotions?
Many of us were told to shut down emotions when we were younger. We learned to push down those feelings or to put on a “good face.” The truth is when we take the time to explore emotions with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are asking God to join us right where we are.
Share that big emotion with God today. Write it in a journal. Talk to Him about it.
As you do, healing, comfort, wisdom, direction, and hope are allowed to settle into those areas of doubt, questions, or pain.
More from the Girlfriends
In Suzie’s book, JoyKeeper: 6 Truths that Change Everything You Thought You Knew About Joy, she invites you to uncover joy stealers and meet them with truth. One of the joy stealers is the belief that God is disappointed with you when you are sad. Suzie helps you to meet that joy stealer with practical and spiritual truth.
Download a free JoyKeeper journaling kit that you can use as you study Suzie’s book. Find it at joykeeper.me.
© 2022 by Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.