If you’re anything like me, you are often ill-prepared for the curveballs life has undoubtedly thrown your way.
And, maybe, like in my case, you have faced several different curveballs all at once.
Sadly, many of us respond to these curveballs by putting up a façade, by smiling and saying “great” when a friend asks how you’re doing, and by keeping your problems bottled up inside.
And, even worse, we hide those emotions, those raw feelings of desperation, anxiety and suffering from the One who promises never to leave you or forsake you, the One who will listen to every cry and knows every tear that falls.
We hide those emotions from God.
Why do we hide behind the false smiles and the “I’m good” responses?
Where did we learn that we can’t cry out to God in our times of pain?
Why has it become commonplace not to ask God why?
Honestly, many of us function this way regularly; we run on autopilot and bottle up all emotions.
Somehow it got in our heads that we shouldn’t lay our burdens at the feet of the Almighty, that we shouldn’t embrace the messiness of life and talk to God about it.
Somehow it got in our heads that when we pray to God we should already be in a place of acceptance of the curveballs of life or else we’re somehow questioning God’s good plan for us.
Yet, the Psalms are filled with cries of pain, lament, and anguish!
Why do we believe the Psalmists can cry out, but we can’t? If the Bible contains cries of anguish, why can’t we do the same?
In Psalm 6:3, the Psalmist cries out that his soul is deep in anguish, and he asks, “How Long, Lord, how long?” The Psalmist is begging the Lord to act.
In Psalm 13, we see David crying out to the Lord, asking how long He will forget him. Of course, we know God will never forget us, but just like David, we sometimes feel like He is so very, very far away.
But he wants us to cast those feelings on Him!
I, too, have been caught in the trappings of presenting myself as having it all together when I don’t, and not crying out to God about my pain.
Then I realized that I was missing that intimacy with my Heavenly Father that I read about in scripture, and it was because I wasn’t pouring out my fears, my hurts and my burdens to Him.
I wasn’t laying it all at His feet.
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
God wants to have that personal and intimate relationship with us, and He wants to comfort us, but if we’re going to bottle up our emotions and never truly let Him in, we will never know the joy of that relationship.
He doesn’t expect us to have it all together, so why are we pretending to be something we’re not? When we pretend to be okay, we are working our way out of a genuine relationship with God, and, quite frankly with others.
How can we help others who are hurting if we aren’t being truthful? If we have not allowed ourselves the freedom to lament to our Lord and Savior, then how will we ever be able to hold someone else’s hand and guide them during their time of suffering?
God wants our sad, our messy, our broken and often it’s in those moments that we are most connected with Him.
It’s true that lamenting and crying out to God may not change our current situation or immediately pull us out of the season we’re in, but it will help us to see our Heavenly Father more clearly; to really connect with Him on a deeper and more personal level.