In one of her Bible studies, Beth Moore made a brief statement that has stuck with me since (though I consistently forget it when it's most applicable): "God can not only change your life, He can change your day; and God can not only change your day, He can change your mood." So often I take my moods as part of myself, some unavoidable, unchangeable, just-deal-with it part of life. And while emotions can certainly spin us all over the map, why do we assume that this is out of the jurisdiction of the one who made us, complete with those very emotions?
I was very excited--stoked, psyched, elated, on fire--about something a couple months ago; a new direction God was very clearly paving out for me. But for various practical reasons, it's had to be put on the backburner. And in the last week or two, I've been having serious doubts, wondering why I'm so non-excited about it--did I misunderstand? Have I made the wrong decision? etc. etc. But I was talking to a friend yesterday, and something just slipped out of my mouth: "It's like God has turned down the fire, knowing I wouldn't be able to contain myself, keeping it under wraps all this time."
In the immortal words of Keanu Reeves, "Woah."
How crazy would it be that I don't necessarily have to ask God to control my emotions? And how ridiculous that I spend weeks in uncertainty, rather than going to the God who gave me this and every other calling, to see what the deal was?
I find myself wondering if I sometimes under-feel God; if I assume that feelings and emotions are (and should be) separate from what God is doing with and around me. I don't mean that I should let emotions set the tone for everything, but discrediting them entirely limits the might of my Creator, at least in my own head. And this whole thing--this faith, this walk, this relationship with Christ--should be based on fact and truth, but also love and gratitude and joy, and sometimes pain and hurt and brokenheartedness. For truth to be real in me, it has to make it to my emotions, to my instinctive reactions; otherwise, it's just a book.
As a favorite song of mine says,
"I need more than a truth to believe,
I need a truth that moves, lives and breathes
To sweep me off my feet.
It's got to be more like falling in love
Than something to believe in;
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance."
(You should probably just listen to the whole thing here.)