Feel What You Feel

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by Gretchen Rehberg

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
 How long must I bear pain in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all day long?

-Psalm 13:1

It might seem odd to have the words of Psalm 13 to read this day, when we are still in Eastertide. Yet this week finds us in waiting. Jesus has ascended into heaven; the Holy Spirit has not yet come with Pentecost. So it might appear that we are alone, that God has forgotten us. This is sometimes a familiar lament – that God is gone, that God has left us, that God has forgotten us. How many times a pastor hears (or says!) the words “where was God in this [tragedy].”

I love the raw honesty of our psalms. The psalms don’t let us “clean up” our language in our prayers, they remind us that every single emotion I could ever have someone else already has, and that the proper place for that emotion is before God. When we are feeling abandoned and alone, it is a right and proper thing to express that feeing in our prayer, crying out to God: “how long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long?” Our fear, our depression, our grief and anger, no emotion is too great for God to handle.

The good news of course is that while we live this week between the Ascension and Pentecost in our liturgical calendar, Pentecost has happened. The Spirit has come. With the coming of the Holy Spirit God reminds us, once again, that nothing can ever separate us from God. We have the Holy Spirit within us. Within us! A profound truth that we are never forgotten, never abandoned, never alone. How do you understand this truth in your own life – that God dwells within you and you are always and forever with God?

Pray this day that you may know the presence of the Holy Spirit within you. Pray this day whatever emotions you feel, pray the strong emotions and the milder ones alike. Give thanks that God is always with us, and spend a period of time in contemplation on the reality that God dwells within you and you are never alone.

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