Looking back on my life (my birthday was this week so this seemed like a good time to reflect) I can recall the several times I was sad, emotionally down, hurt, or emotionally burdened. Those were tough times, but God was there for me in the tough times. I didn’t always feel like He was with me, but when I look back I can see His hand was right there – His presence was right there leading me through the tough times.
I still remember the loss of my Great Grandma during my Sophomore year of college, that was a terribly sad day for me. My great-grandma was a major influence in my life, she taught me so much by how she lived, her work ethic, how she gave, and her deep faith. We had a very close relationship; so when she passed away I took it very hard (20 years later I still miss her deeply – I wish she could BE HERE to see my family, to play with my kids, to meet my wife).
How can we deal with the emotional pain that WILL come our way in life? Emotional pain will come our way; we will experience hurt, loss, and regret. How can we deal with it?
Skills to Learn
- Go To Christ – Matthew 11:28 tells us to go to Jesus when we are burdened. I remember several months back I was going through a very tough time emotionally – I really believe I was under some intense spiritual attacks; what did I do? I cried and I cried out to God, to Jesus. I remember I got on my bike and prayed (I yelled too), but I spent a lot of time praying and telling God about what was going on in my head. When your heart is emotionally hurt, Jesus tells us to Go To HIM.
- Mourn Your Loss – whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a job opportunity, a broken relationship, or a life dream/goal; God tells us that we will be blessed when we mourn our loss (Matthew 5:4). How do we do that, how do we mourn? We enter into the sadness; we don’t stuff it, we talk about it. We cry and express to those close to us how we feel and that maybe, we just don’t understand why we are so sad. We continue to cry out to God and tell Him how we feel about our loss. The Old Testament has several illustrations of people mourning a loss (they cry, weep, sleep, fast-don’t eat, change their clothing, pray) for a period of time (sometimes several days) then they move on. I remember several years ago when my grandpa died and I didn’t mourn his loss, instead, I was “strong” and didn’t enter into the pain of him passing away. Well, stuffed emotions will come out at some time and that’s exactly what happened. A few years after my grandpa died I found myself emotionally messed up thinking back to him and how foolish I was for not mourning his death.
Psalms 147:3 (NIV)
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
I don’t know what you might be going through today, this week, or this past month. But, if you are going through some type of emotional hardship don’t stuff it, take it to God and deal with it.