I’m NOT a fan of the Rolling Stones (never have been) but I remember this song from my ‘youth” and frankly when I ‘googled’ the lyrics to use here…what God did for me today (and does everyday), rings true in a very small portion of this song:
“I’ll be your savior, steadfast and true
I’ll come to your emotional rescue
I’ll come to your emotional rescue”
Seems appropriate as I reflect back. He IS my savior and He IS steadfast and He IS definitely true. He also came, and always COMES, to my emotional rescue.
You see sometimes I find myself drowning in emotions and that is where satan grabs a hold of me and shakes me like chicken in a bag. If he can immerse me and hold me in the emotions and apply some heat, I come out crusted over in emotions that now must be picked off…and that process is actually quite painful. Imagine if you can; “Sinners Shake-N-Bake”. (together now: 'Its Shake-N-Bake and WEEEEEEEEEE helped!')
I think perhaps God is once again chipping away at the crust that I forever find myself covered in. The day I resist “emotional paddy-cake with the devil” is the day of complete victory for me in this area.
I’ve shared before that I often come across as extremely cold and dis-engaged from people altogether. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. I have such an incredible amount of love for all people, I just have a hard time being open and vulnerable to people. When people do find their way into my heart and my life, they also find the labyrinth of emotions and twists, turns, and detours that accompany this part of my journey.
This morning God reminded, me through His Word, that He provides lasting fruit that are NOT emotion based; rather they are seeds placed in me during my ‘rebirth’ that must be nurtured and cared for and exhibited in order to grow. My joy is lacking because I’ve been feeding the emotions. My love and peace and patience and kindness (though there is some question whether this seed even took root)…and all those fruit seeds we are given when the Holy Spirit takes residence within have been lacking. They have been lacking the nourishment and water required to grow.
God asked me this morning to take a look at specific words in Psalm 51 (one of my favorites). I think I’ve been trying to make the sacrifice of my emotions, when God is calling for my ‘clean heart’ for which, lo’ and behold, He is the sole source.
“Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my shameful deeds--
they haunt me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner--
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the heart,
so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me--now let me rejoice.
Don't keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a right spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don't take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me again the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
Then I will teach your ways to sinners,
and they will return to you.
Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
Unseal my lips, O Lord,
that I may praise you.
You would not be pleased with sacrifices,
or I would bring them.
If I brought you a burnt offering,
you would not accept it.
The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit.
A broken and repentant heart, O God,
you will not despise.
Look with favor on Zion and help her;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with worthy sacrifices
and with our whole burnt offerings;
and bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.”
What my pastor did at the end of the service really served to ‘solidify’ what God was teaching me in the service. We each had a blank piece of paper and a pen. We were asked to write down any and everything that we are putting above Jesus; whether it is “service-oriented” or fleshly desires and addictions. We were then told to take it to the front and ball it up and throw it in a large trashcan, because EVERYTHING placed above Jesus is rubbish!
Needless to say…I wrote for a while. I didn’t completely cover my ‘blank sheet’ but darn near. My husband, who is clothed in mercy and grace ALWAYS, sat quietly beside me until I was done and then walked up with me to the front to ‘trash’ his page as well. God even revealed some things to me I didn’t even realize I was putting before Jesus and I was able to HEAR that this morning.
I realize this symbolic ‘trashing’ is only as effective as I allow it to be. The more the significance permeates my soul, the more lasting it will be. Right now, eight hours later, I feel the same conviction I did earlier today. I know my emotions have literally been running away with me and I also know that only I hold the power to release each of the things; feelings, that bind me and stall my journey.
With much hope for a joy-filled week!
"It is not the moutain we conquer, but ourselves." Sir Edmund Hillary