part of life


Saturday Reflection


20th March 2021

...our hearts are full...

When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.

....Psalm 94:19

Most of us feel that, to be a Christian,
one should live in joy and enthusiasm
and feel guilty when our hearts are
dispirited or overwhelmed with grief;
but a heavy heart is not uncommon
to the Christian faith.

But what's the difference between
feeling deeply and feeling overwhelmed?

There are times when our hearts are full.
We carry with us the death of a loved one,
the trials of a big move,
the breakdown of a relationship,
the diagnosis of a disease,
or the prolonged wait,
during this pandemic lock-down,
to see family or friends.

Recently I have been involved with
families who have lost a loved one;
the parting hurts and we grieve.

During these times,
it's an important to remember that deep
emotions are normal and have been felt by
God's people throughout the ages.

Think of Job after losing his children,
his home and his financial stability.
Or Mary as she watched the final breath
of her son on the cross.
Even Jesus himself was
'grieved to the point of death.'
Matthew 26:38
before he went to the cross.

God's people have always felt deep
emotions in the midst of trials.
We see the truth in the words
of the psalmist of Psalm 94

'When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.'

..... v19.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed
in the middle of his difficulties
and emotions, the writer of this psalm
invited God to involve himself in
those emotions with him.

The word 'consolation' means 'to bring comfort'
to those suffering.
God is there to provide that comfort
but he cannot do it if we do not turn to him
and allow it to happen.
Feeling deeply troubled may be a signal,
not that our problems are too big to cope with
or our emotions are too strong,
but that we have been trying to
carry them alone.

God does not intend for us to let go of grief
when a loved one dies, to ignore sorrow
when we have been hurt by another.
Instead, God wants to be more engaged
in our suffering and to breathe his
comfort into our heavy hearts.

Jesus said,

'Come to me all you who are
 weary and heavy burdened,
 and I will give you rest.'

.....Matthew 11:28

In 1 Peter 5:7 his readers,
and we, are instructed to,

'Cast all your anxiety on him [Jesus]
 because he cares for you.'

As his children we are able to take
every burden, small and large, to his feet,
and he promises to carry us through it.

I don't know about you, but
that makes my overburdened heart
a bit lighter.

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'The king of love my shepherd is '
arranged by Gonzalo L. Gonzalez
via the link shown below.