Words of Hope: Going Through

Sometimes, when I start to pray my mind wanders over the myriad of tasks I have for the day. Sometimes everywhere I turn, my mind is a space of anger and resentment. Other times I can feel afraid. I prefer the prayer times that are full of joy and delight for God. But my spiritual mentors remind me that God is found in desolation as well as consolation. Instead of compartmentalizing my difficult and challenging emotions and categorizing them evil, I ask God to help me through these emotions, to listen more, to sit longer, to allow myself to come to peace.

I believe God can use every emotion for His purpose and will. I love the concept of the discipline of waiting. As I pray in the times of difficulty, I continue through until I come to the place of the Spirit. It can take a while. When I was younger, as I read my journals, I often stayed in the place of frustration and bitterness. I now recognize this as my attempt to purge myself from myself—trying to manage my emotions and troubles myself. I was praying as duty, obligation, ritual and even shame.

Now, l know that as the initial torrent of darker more difficult feelings come, I wait in patience knowing these will quiet. As I acknowledge their presence but don’t try and excoriate them away with vitriol and righteous fury, and as I take myself out of the center and trust that God is present— these troubling emotions slowly settle down and the space of communion comes.

If the emotions continue in persistency, I cry out, and I go through the flood, I wait, and I have hope. I ask God to rescue me.

I love the line in scripture that says hope does not disappoint. As I go through the clamoring distractions or difficult emotions, I have hope I will arrive at the quiet, still, joyous place where God speaks.

“And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – Romans 5:5