Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Emotions can be surprising things. They're a veritable whirlwind, a storm, at some points, and a calm sea breeze at others.

In the last 24 hours I've gone through an insane progression of emotions, all of it spawned by trivialities. And what's interesting to me is that in the midst of that, my actual desires and choices were relatively constant. Despite having an extremely (indeed, maddeningly) changing emotional state, my actual decisions remained unaffected, at least on a large scale. Momentary decisions were less than their normal tempered selves, but even those I overruled by and large - less with reason than with will and acknowledgment of the folly of letting those things rule me.

I've learned a lot from David over the years. In many of the psalms he wrote, we see a fairly consistent pattern: some set of emotions is playing out in his heart, and - be they fear, anger, sorrow, joy, or any other - he deals with them and then turns to praise God. No matter his circumstances, no matter how confused or even angry toward God he was, always he praised his King.

I'm not there yet, but I'm learning, largely from his example. Others do it, too: Habakkuk comes to mind. And through the word that God has given us, the Spirit speaks powerfully. In many ways, I can see that I've come very far indeed from where I was only a year ago. In others, I have very far to go. Yet what is important here is that I am learning, growing, being made more and more into the image of God.

Have you ever pondered that? Our God feels emotions - intensely - yet never acts on "pure" emotion. He acts out of wisdom, always. That's quite remarkable, from our limited human experience. And yet as we are slowly sanctified and are increasingly able to do so ourselves, though in limited fashion, we begin to understand who God is a little more. The process of sanctification is striking and remarkable. In it we are transformed by increasing knowledge of God, and as we are sanctified we increase in our knowledge of God. It is a circle, feeding on itself - the opposite of the sin circle that leads us in the other direction. The more we know God, the more we will be like Him, and the more we become like Him, the more we can (and do) know Him.

I come again to this place of awe, of reverence, that our great and mighty God, He who is infinite in power and majesty, in righteousness and holiness, in love and mercy, has rescued me. His grace daily changes me and makes me more as I ought to be: an image of Christ, Himself the image of the invisible God.

Praise Him from who all blessings flow!

- Chris

1 comment:

  1. Nice post.

    When you said that while the moment to to moment emotions changed, the large scale decisions remained constant... I was reminded how on a quantum scale everything seems random, no order, anything can happen, but if one backs away, looks at the larger picture, newtonian rules apply... things are predictable.

    The other evening I was with some friends. They asked how I was doing. I told them that our faith makes it hard to talk about our problems. When I think about my troubles, and then think about Jesus' arrest, beating, torture, crucifixion... I feel I have no room to whine about anything.

    But my friend responded that whining is OK. That David did it in the psalms all the time.

    David's emotions were always so clear...

    God, smite them!
    God, where are You?
    God, comfort me.

    And then he always brought it around to praise.

    I think you are right... God feels emotions. I know Jesus did.

    He felt sad for a friend who died... he felt fear before his arrest, he must have felt wonder wen he went off to pray in nature. He reassured his friends when they were afraid. He felt compassion for those who had misfortune.

    Yeah... God has emotions.

    Pretty cool.


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