Thursday, April 25, 2024
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When God Is Bigger Than Your Emotions

Photo courtesy of Lauren Rushing via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Lauren Rushing via Flickr

Do you ever feel like you might be too much of an emotional mess for anyone to handle?

If we find ourselves overwhelmed by the depths of our needs, the unpredictability of our emotions, and the mess of our hearts, I’m sure those nearest to us may feel a bit daunted as well. Whether we happen to be married or single, surrounded by friends or very much alone, there is no way that our fellow humans can significantly enter into our inner worlds without sometimes becoming overwhelmed, disgusted, exhausted, or flummoxed.

Several weeks ago, Psalm 52 majorly blessed my heart. David penned this Psalm after an informer had alerted King Saul to the assistance which David had received at the hands of the priests. Saul had massacred the priests and their families in a fit of rage, and David felt sorrowful, powerless, and responsible. Moreover, he was far away from his best friend, Jonathan, and unable to return home. I would imagine that he was experiencing a loss of confidence and probably didn’t feel like sharing his inner mess with his fellow fugitives. And so he turns to God.

“Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?” He begins the Psalm with venting against the informer and King Saul. And then, “The steadfast love of God endures all the day” (Psalm 52:1 ESV). Those last three words hit me hard. All the day. All through the ups and downs of my heart, all through the fickleness of my soul, all through the turnarounds of my mind throughout the inner rollercoaster of my 24 hours, the love of God is steady, constant, unperturbed, and completely unshaken.

David goes on to meditate on the concept of God as his home. He contrasts the instability of the godless (“God will … snatch and tear you from your tent,” verse 5) with His own security: “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever” (52:8). David was just beginning his 13-year stint as a fugitive from King Saul; everything about his life appeared insecure. I can only imagine the emotional rollercoaster he experienced over the next 13 years of running, hiding in caves, close brushes with death, broken promises from Saul (Saul could unexpectedly alternate from remorse to vengeance), all while leading a motley group of disgruntled warriors who once nearly turned on David himself!

In the midst of this craziness, David discovered that his mess was safe in God’s house, all the day long. He was planted in God’s house as a permanent fixture, and the Lord of the House responded to the inner and outer chaos of David’s life with steadfast love.

How encouraging for me, a girl whose emotions can kick me in the gut at the drop of a hat. God’s love is patient toward my up-and-down-ness; His love response is steadfast. Whether I’m on the run from a vengeful king or just having a nothing-is-going-right kind of day, I can gather up my emotions and place them before the face of the Lord, in His house, where they are safe, where I am safe, and where I will be patiently soothed and lovingly instructed.

God is big enough to handle the insanity of the human heart, and He welcomes us into His house all the day long.

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