Take It With You 01.23.2022

Recently, I heard an illustration about dealing with difficult and often negative emotions, like anger, disappointment, frustration, anxiety, fear, etc. I cannot remember the original source of the illustration, as I was hearing it from someone who heard it from someone else, but here it is. Think of your life as a journey and yourself as a car traveling on that journey. Your emotions, like the ones listed above, get to come along on the journey (because, well, we don’t have a lot of choice in the matter, they’re just part of life), but they have to sit in the back seat. They don’t get to drive or even navigate. At most, they might get to pick some of the music and impact the overall “vibe” in the car, but that’s all the control they get to have on the journey.
Emotions are tricky things. It is not healthy to deny them or ignore them, but it can be equally unhealthy to let them take over our minds and our hearts, or to affect how we make decisions. So, how do we find that balance between pretending everything is ok when it’s not without letting our anger or fear or grief take over every aspect of our life? If I knew the definitive answer to that, I’d be able to make a lot of money. I do have some thoughts, though. First, keep things in perspective. Like today’s scripture says in 2 Corinthians 4:17 says: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” Our troubles may not feel light or momentary, but through scripture, God reassures us that they are, compared to the eternal glory of God. Not only that, but they are leading us to that glory; difficult times are part of the journey! Second, remember the words of Jesus from John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus didn’t say “might” or “maybe,” He said we will have trouble. It’s a normal part of life. But He gives us another blessed assurance: that He has already overcome the world. Third, heed these words from 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” If I may be so bold as to suggest that the invitation does not apply only to anxiety or cares (as some translations put it); I would imagine that God is happy for us to also cast our anger on Him, our sorrow, our disappointment, our fear, our uncertainty on Him, because He cares for us. These aren’t necessarily easy things to do, and we may very well need to repeat the steps multiple times a day, but the truth is right there in scripture: we are not meant to bear the burdens of this life alone.
Dear Heavenly Father,
In the midst of uncertain times, we acknowledge that difficult emotions are part of life. We cast our individual and collective cares on You who cares for us. Thank You for overcoming the world and for caring for us. We love You. Amen.
~ Katie Herring