When It Hurts

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Sharing the sufferings of Christ involves the experience of the deep emotions, agony, and passion he continues to experience for the least, the last, and the lost by his indwelling Spirit. All followers of Jesus were once least, last, and lost. When we forget that, we stop feeling.

– Dr. Mark Chironna

If I Ride the Wings of Morning

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Well, this was unexpected. Who knew I would spend my 63rd number-changing day (as my little granddaughter calls it) in the throes of puberty, or reverse menopause (I’m not sure what to call it).

I’m on short-term intense hormonal therapy to try to fix a girl problem, well, okay, an older lady problem. And that’s all I have to say about that (which is probably too much.)

The result is a person, already subject to strong emotions, now awash in feelings. Irritability is the most … irritating. Having giggle fits with my adolescent granddaughter (also awash in hormonal emotion) may be the most fun.

It’s temporary and I can hang on for a few more weeks as long as I avoid political bait and debate and my husband doesn’t do anything worthy of inciting a riot, like chewing his popcorn too loud at the movies or humming The Marseillaise in a minor key.

I’ve been thinking about emotion and it’s place in our lives. I wonder if emotion is the response our soul makes when its nerve endings are touched. Some areas of our souls seem to be more sensitive than others. Some people just seem to feel emotion more intensely than others. It’s like having a high or low pain/pleasure threshold.

Some emotional stimulation feels wonderful and some feels absolutely horrid. The temptation is to either become addicted to “feel-good” triggers, wallow in the feel-bad triggers, or shut them all off as much as possible.

Alas, in the way people without pain receptors tend to lose limbs, people without emotion receptors tend to lose chunks of their souls. Compassion is often the first to go.

I love the Psalms because they are full of intense emotion, yet grounded in the reality of God’s sovereignty. David and the other writers shamelessly express feelings, yet they eventually submit them to God’s perspective and will.

Emotions are like scouts who bring reports back to headquarters. They are vital, but don’t let them make the final decisions. They tend not to see the entire picture.

David writes about highs and lows and our tendency to lose sight of God in our running about.

Can I go anywhere apart from Your Spirit?
Is there anywhere I can go to escape Your watchful presence?

If I go up into heaven, You are there.
If I make my bed in the realm of the dead, You are there.

If I ride on the wings of morning,
if I make my home in the most isolated part of the ocean,

Even then You will be there to guide me;
Your right hand will embrace me, for You are always there.

Even if I am afraid and think to myself, “There is no doubt that the darkness will swallow me,
the light around me will soon be turned to night,”

You can see in the dark, for it is not dark to Your eyes.
For You the night is just as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are the same to Your eyes.

For You shaped me, inside and out.
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath.

I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.

You see all things; nothing about me was hidden from You

(Psalm 139: 7-15 The Voice)

Anyway, I just want to say on this day, that for all the pain and all the joy feeling intense emotion has brought me, thank You, Lord. You surround me and You ground me and You lift me up. Best of all You like what you created when You made me. Today, on my birthday, I celebrate You.




A kind person told me that feeling an emotion is like feeling thirsty. There is no shame in feeling thirsty. You might consider if anything unusual caused your thirst, or if you need to drop everything and get a drink, or if you can wait until the next convenient time to deal with it. Seldom do people say, “I’m so sorry. I really shouldn’t feel thirsty. I don’t know what’s the matter with me.” Thirst is.

We might consider the cause of an unexpected emotion, but we have the choice to deal with it right away or wait until the next convenient time –but we can’t ignore feelings forever. There is no need to say,”I’m so sorry. I really shouldn’t feel this way. I don’t know what’s the matter with me.” Feelings are.

Today I feel emotionally thirsty. I’ve been in a time of giving (freely and with joy because I absolutely love the people who needed my help) but today I am feeling tired and a bit, well, prunish. There are scattered piles of requests for attention all over my house. The urgent has been attended to, but I’m not putting this off anymore, so dust, emails, laundry, lesson plans, and call back messages, if you will excuse me, I’m going to go soak in the love of Jesus now.