We may get the impression that deep grief or sustained sadness is somehow out of bounds for faithful Christians, even though the gospels portray Jesus as feeling deep emotions and acting on them.
Jesus drew on the psalms in expressing his emotions. From the cross, Jesus cried out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” quoting Psalm 22 as he named his feelings of abandonment and anguish (Mark 15:34). The psalms offer a complicated mixture of emotions. They express longing, lament, love, anger, zeal, enthusiasm, contentment, contempt, and hope, often in adjacent verses. Cries of abandonment are coupled with expressions of trust.
The emotions in the psalms are named within the context of prayer. God is not harmed by our emotions; God can absorb them all in prayer.
This message is an excerpt from “God can take it” by Julie A. Kanarr in the September 2019 issue of Gather magazine.
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