“My storms were reeling me for a minute. As crazy as it felt and as out of control as it felt, all my feelings kept slamming into something solid in me that wouldn’t move. And that’s my roots and my faith and what I knew.”
“And there’s a time when fear has to face the God you know.”
“There’s a difference between what you feel and Who you know. In those moments I had to really pull away from what I was feeling and remember Who I knew.”
The above are quotes from Mark Hall, the lead singer of Casting Crowns, during an interview with Wally on WAY-FM. He was speaking on his recent diagnosis of kidney cancer.
As I listened to this interview an image came to my mind.
At times, the waves in the ocean may be vicious and they may be unpredictable, but in the middle of that storm there is a rock that remains there. Though the waters keep slamming into the rock, it remains unmoved. Unchanged.
Likewise, our Father is our Rock. Although in the ocean overtime the rock will slowly erode, God will not. Hebrews 13:8 says: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. He remains neither unmoved nor swayed by our grief, struggles and emotions. “This is new just to you.” Mark Hall shared in the interview, as he felt God telling him this. God is not taken back by the events in our lives. They do not catch Him off guard or trip Him up. He remains unmoved and unchanged.
Cast your burden on the LORD,
and He will sustain you;
He will never permit
the righteous to be moved.
1 Peter 5:7
…casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.
According to Merriam-Webster, to cast means “to throw or move (something) in a forceful way.”
Who better is there than our heavenly Father to slam our concerns, emotions, fears, anger, worries and sadness? It sounds almost shameful to speak to Him with that rawness but He commands us to (Psalm 55:22) and He already knows what’s in our minds and hearts. Staying silent does not make our feelings untrue. God wants our honesty and openness. Only then is He able to truly change us, to ease our broken hearts or to soften our anger.
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was “sorrowful and troubled” according to Matthew 26:37 ESV. Mark 14:33 describes Him to be “greatly distressed and troubled.” Luke 22:44 says: And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.
Distressed. Sorrowful. Troubled. Agonized. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? We have all been there at some point in our life. Maybe you are there right now. Emotions like these are not wrong; they are not sinful. Our actions that follow, however, are what matter.
(Note: In the descriptions of Jesus’ emotions, do you notice something missing? Bitterness. Jealousy. Hatred. Disobedience.)
So what was Jesus’ action to follow His emotions?
Prayer. He fell to the ground and prayed to His Father. And not once, not twice, but three times. He prayed to God the same prayer three times.
But I call to God,
and the LORD will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and He hears my voice.
He redeems my soul in safety
from the battle that I wage…
“Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan,” the Psalm says.
Colossians 4:2: Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
I Thessalonians 5:17: Pray without ceasing.
The correct, sinless response to our desperate, heart cries is prayer. Never ceasing prayer.
Read the cry of the psalmist in Psalm 102:4-5: My heart is struck down like grass and has withered; I forget to eat my bread. Because of my loud groaning my bones cling to my flesh.
When emotions overwhelm you like so that your heart is withering; when you are so agonized that you cannot eat, cry out to God. Bear your soul. Throw your burdens and worries at His feet. He can handle it. Only be willing to receive conviction, correction, comfort, peace or joy in return.