I was reading an Alan Wright devotional and he made the point that crying and laughing are very close emotions. Even in times of deep hurt, we will often think of something funny and in the midst of sorrowful tears we will begin to laugh.
I’ve done many funerals and every time I meet with family and friends of the one who has passed inevitably someone will share a funny story about the person and soon the whole room is crying and laughing at the same time.
Both of these things are good and therapeutic. Our tears, both happy and sad, are a gift from God that produce chemical reactions within our bodies that we need at that very moment.
While I’m the first to say that our emotions should not control us, I also believe God has created us as emotional beings on purpose. We need to allow our emotions to flow. And I think we can do that without allowing them to be in charge.
Here’s what I mean. Fear is a good emotion – it’s a warning system. If I’m in a dangerous situation, fear alerts me to this fact so that I can act appropriately. However, if I allow fear to control me, I may never get out of bed for fear that something may go wrong. See the difference?
Sorrow is the same way. It serves a powerful purpose, but it’s not intended to control us.
Today’s Good News is that if you find your emotions are overwhelming you God has created something to help – community. We need to be with other people. The Bible tells us to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who are rejoicing. We surround the hurting and the celebrating and we join them there. Not as a downward spiral, but in a way that lets them know they’re not alone.
If you’re struggling with emotional overload, find a few friends that can help you. By the way, I also think professional help is a great thing God has also provided. Sometimes we need people who are truly experts at helping us get our emotions under control. But I know, without a doubt we all need community.
A healthy community of believers around you can be the physical “Jesus” in your life – and that’s Good News!
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