Points to Ponder: When Meltdown is OK
Points to Ponder
When Meltdown is OK
Have you ever noticed how emotionally honest children are; sometimes painfully honest? In the morning, your little toddler wants to be with you, hugs on you, and shows affection. By naptime, you are the oppressor and the child whines and cries and pushes you away. Later, it's hugs and kisses again. Then not long after that they go off into their world (without leaving the room) and act like you're not even there. Whatever the child is feeling at that moment, that emotion is honestly expressed.
At a Bob Evans Restaurant one evening, Marcella took Elizabeth to the restroom just before we were about to pay the bill and leave. Joanna, two-years-old at the time, protested her leaving. With tears and pleas to not leave, she crawled under the table and exclaimed - loudly - "I don't want to be with Daddy!" Over and over again. There's no point trying to console or get closer to her, because the cries will just get louder. I'm sitting there waiting for some conscientious customer to come rescue this child from me. "What are people thinking?" I wondered. Joanna didn't particularly care.
Later on at home we all sat around the TV to watch a cartoon before bedtime. Joanna crawls up on the loveseat next to me, snuggles up alongside my leg, and I put an arm around her. I'm wanted again; for a while, anyway.
I know my children love me and they know I love them. But whatever emotion is working within them, it tends to display itself in raw honesty. Sometimes it's a warm fuzzy Norman Rockwell type scene. Other times it's a nuclear meltdown. With maturity we (usually) learn how to temper our emotions and control them rather than let them control us. But the honest displays I've seen in my girls give me a sense of what God, our Heavenly Father, must put up with from us.
Sometimes I'm praising Him and enjoying a lengthy time in His word, loving His presence with me in the moment. Then at other times I face a situation or a challenge, and I forget He's even there. I could pray, I could go to Him for comfort or guidance, but I don't "feel like it," so I don't think of it. And He lets me go do whatever until I settle down and realize what I'm doing. He still loves me, still puts up with me. When I do realize how I'm feeling and how I'm behaving toward the Lord, I am stopped in my emotional tracks by two thoughts: God is incredibly patient with me, and secondly, I need to talk this out with Him.
Just as I understand the emotional roller coaster my children are riding, God understands His children's "ride" even more so. Read how the Psalms give voice to the often raw expressions of the human heart.
I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. (Psalm 6:6 NKJV)
How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? (Psalm 13:1-2 NKJV)
Regarding the wicked, the psalmist pleads for justice: "The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. Break their teeth in their mouth, O God!" (Psalm 58:3,6 NKJV)
The prayer of one who was betrayed: "For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance. Let death seize them; let them go down alive into hell, for wickedness is in their dwellings and among them." (Psalm 55:12-13,15 NKJV)
God is fully aware of all our troubles: "You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?" (Psalm 56:8 NKJV)
God gives us words to express our struggle with a chronic debilitating condition, or a life-threatening disease.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord. My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing. My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed... Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forever more?... And I said, "This is my anguish; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High...!" (Psalm 77:2-3,7-8,10 NKJV)
It is okay to run into His arms and cry. Let Him have it all. After all, you cannot lie about what's in your heart.
"Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD; Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared." (Psalm 130:1-4 NKJV)
"The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth..."(Psalm 145:18 NKJV)
What rest there is when we lean on Him in humble trust:
"Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me." (Psalm 131:2 NKJV)
This column can be found on the web at: www.fumcl.org. Pastor Whitmore is not affiliated with Picket News, nor does he submit material directly to our publication. We regularly reprint interesting articles found at his public web site and encourage all readers to visit for similar material.