Friday, May 27, 2011

talk to yourself much...

do you talk to yourself? you laugh, but i am serious. let me explain.

i internalize a lot. i often dwell on situations and over think them. i can let the situation or the emotions stirred up by the situation really affect me. sometimes it is worry that consumes me as i think through every possible option for what could happen.  sometimes i am ridden with anxiety if i cannot think of a solution or if i begin to deduce that thing i feared most in the situation is happening.  sometimes it is despair. i become pessimistic like eeyore - thinking that if i hope for the worst, than anything better than the worst is a positive and if the worst happens, it would come as no surprise. whatever the emotion may be, sometimes it becomes all consuming. i can't shake it. i look for distractions most often found in people and things. these often work for a bit, but they are just distractions, not solutions.

recently i read through the book of lamentations. sounds depressing doesn't it? a book about lamenting and sadness. it is believed to be written by the prophet jeremiah at the time of the fall of jerusalem.  nwo god had told israel through jeremiah and ezekiel that this day would come and that it would be disastrous.  and that it was.  if you read through lamentations, you will see that the fall of this city was horrific.  awful things were happening.  then chapter three comes.  jeremiah is mourning over the destruction and recalling israel's sin that caused it when his tone changes. he starts talking about hope. at the point where i think i would just fall into despair, jeremiah starts talking to himself. he makes himself remember something:

    Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
        the wormwood and the gall!
    My soul continually remembers it
        and is bowed down within me.
    But this I call to mind,
        and therefore I have hope:
    The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
        his mercies never come to an end;
    they are new every morning;
        great is your faithfulness.
    “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
        “therefore I will hope in him.”
    The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
        to the soul who seeks him.
    It is good that one should wait quietly
        for the salvation of the LORD.
    It is good for a man that he bear
        the yoke in his youth.
    Let him sit alone in silence
        when it is laid on him;
    let him put his mouth in the dust—
        there may yet be hope;
    let him give his cheek to the one who strikes,
        and let him be filled with insults.
    For the Lord will not
        cast off forever,
    but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
        according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
    for he does not willingly afflict
        or grieve the children of men.
    To crush underfoot
        all the prisoners of the earth,
    to deny a man justice
        in the presence of the Most High,
    to subvert a man in his lawsuit,
        the Lord does not approve.
    Who has spoken and it came to pass,
        unless the Lord has commanded it?
    Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
        that good and bad come?
    Why should a living man complain,
        a man, about the punishment of his sins?
(Lamentations 3:19-39)

he begins to speak of the lord's great loving kindness, how his mercies never cease!  now we love this verse, but we rarely think of it in the context of the horror that his going on at the fall or jerusalem.  i don't know this for sure, but i am guessing that jeremiah, like you and me, was struggling and wrestling with all that he was seeing and experiencing, and rather than letting his emotions get the best of him, he started to remind himself of who god was. he started speaking truth to himself to fight off the lies and despair his emotions were leading him to believe. 

emotions are a good thing created by god. but just like us, they are broken and sinful at times.  we need them corrected, they need to be called out, and sometimes our hearts just need to be reminded.  so next time you feel overwhelmed with your emotions and you can't get out of your funk, talk to yourself. pull out the word and remind yourself of who god is, of his faithfulness, his love, his plan.

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