Those of you of the older generation, yikes, I guess that means me too, may remember a song by Andy Williams. “Feelings”. The lyrics start by saying, “Feelings, nothing more than feelings…” and the rest of the song is about the gamut of his feelings from having the girl he loves to losing her. He doesn’t mention anything about all the feelings in between. When you were younger, perhaps like me, you didn’t pay much attention to the lyrics of most songs…
Feelings are something. Feelings affect us. And sometimes it is the lack of feelings that affect us and others around us. Jesus had and has feelings. It is Maundy Thursday as I write this. In my Lenten devotional, I was reading in John 13:1-11, the passage opens with: “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end…” Jesus, knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going back to God…. In the devotional C.S. Lewis expounds on Jesus’ anguish, the eminent reality forthcoming, the anticipation of not only going back to the Father, but I’ll also add, of being separated from the Father. I cannot even imagine what His feelings were.
During this Holy week, I’ve known my feelings. They too have spanned a gamut. I’ve found myself very contemplative this week. Thinking about my life, things of the past, questions about the future, certainly thoughts about being shut in (which is really nothing new for me, except now it is not just by choice…) thoughts about Easter. I’ve lamented not being with my family, my fellow believers at church… I want to shout, HE IS RISEN and to hear the echoing words, HE IS RISEN INDEED. My heart has been full with feelings this week.
Perhaps, you like me, wonder how we will be different when all this is over? How will the world, mankind be different? Will I? Will I appreciate my family more, my husband more, the ministry God has given me? I look forward to the day when we will all be together again at the physical building we call church. Will it be different? Will it be strange?
Now it was before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew…. having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end… We do not know the outcome of all that God is up to; but, I pray that we will be like Jesus, we will be those who love those who are our own and in our world to the end. I pray that as Jesus, knowing what was coming, obeyed unto death and that we too will obey what our Lord commands of us unto our own deaths or ‘til He comes back.
The world keeps saying… We’ve got this, You’ve got this… I know it is with a desire to be positive and that is good, but I don’t have ‘this’ – I have Christ. It is He who promises to be faithful. It is He who promises to finish His sanctifying work in me. It is to Him that all things have been given. It is abiding in Him that I can produce fruit of any kind. It is by His Holy Spirit that I can and will be submissive and respectful to my husband. It is by Him that I can consider my husband or others above myself. It is by Him that I can be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving as God in Christ forgave me. It is only as His beloved child that I can walk in love, serve and love others as Christ loved me, gave Himself up for me as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
In spite of my feelings, I must continue living and presenting my body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. It is my spiritual worship. I must take my feelings and thoughts captive and allow God to transform my mind.
I am thankful for this time to think and to feel more deeply. I am thinking and feeling more deeply about God. This truly has been a different Lenten season. God IS GOOD ALL THE TIME... ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD.
Rejoice, we have the Lord and we are HIS!!!