There is an eternal dimension that we all span — and from one to another we go.
There are times when we give way to the truth of how we feel; times when we’re given to complaint. Other times we’re indebted to God in thankfulness, knowing the theory that at all times are we to be thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
But being thankful is not that easy a disposition to maintain — even going against the grain of many of the so-called mature, infuriating them onto further challenges to emotional growth.
Honesty becomes us, despite our desire to show how tough, or faithful, we are. Our feelings have a way of permeating our worlds. Least of all can we hide these from our loved ones, friends and work colleagues. Our sleeves get filthy very quickly.
Bridging an Enormous Chasm
There is a great deal of difference between the truth of horrendous feeling and the thankfulness that comes from a heart-glad sigh for knowledge of God in life.
The former is a reality we cannot ignore. The latter is different. It’s supposed to be a sign that we’re genuinely surrendered to God — obedient in the faith — for those not thankful surely have still much to learn.
Truth be known, that is naïvely stated.
Human beings will be ungrateful from time to time. It’s a fact of life. It’s the flesh bearing its way again (and again) over the person. We’re all blighted.
Nobody who’s spiritually inclined is going to be happy with their position in spiritual growth, however, until they bridge the chasm between truth and thankfulness.
What is it that will bridge the chasm? How will we abide to the truth whilst also being thankful? The answer is the character trait of humility. To wallow yet become thankful is one part of being humble.
Model for Prayer – Lament Leading to Thankfulness
Jesus never said we’re not to lament.
The psalms show us the blessings enfolded to the person who’s truthful about their emotions. The way we deal with the truth, then, is we take it to God, finishing these prayers of bitterness or complaint in some version of thankfulness.
Bringing the two concepts together is about being rigidly committed to the truth at a personal level — so much so that the slightest cringing epoch of complaint or fear or want is listened to and heeded.
Feelings occur for good reason. We’re encouraged to get to their source, and from there reach a landing of peace — for it is possible — and then go on in thankfulness.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.