My “before-I-met-Jesus” life as a personal fitness trainer had its share of frustrations. I would absorb the moods and attitudes of my clients while trying to never show annoyance or impatience. Some days I felt ready to explode.The only people I could vent with were other fitness professionals.
One evening a fellow trainer and instructor noticed I seemed a bit troubled and invited me to join a kickboxing class he was starting. Half of us donned boxing gloves while the rest held heavily padded shields in front of them.
“Don’t worry about proper form right now, just let go and punch!” the instructor yelled. “Your partners are protected; you can’t hurt them. Release everything you’re holding inside and just have at ‘em!”
Drenched in sweat and panting, I realized how much better I felt after I “had at it”—but this isn’t a post to tell you about the benefits of exercise … not at all. Not long after this, I discovered a far superior outlet for my aggravations, joys, tears, and fears. I surrendered my life to the love of Christ. At first, I wanted to show Him only my best self, thinking that’s what He wanted. The more I read and absorbed His Word, I learned He wanted all of me, even the ugly, angry, and scared parts. I started to talk to God like He was my best friend (which indeed He Is!).
CRYING OUT TO GOD
When chronic pain began to fill my days and keep me awake most nights, I hesitated to share too much with those closest to me, including my husband. I didn’t want to burden anyone and I didn’t think they could understand. One night, when the pain made it too uncomfortable to stay in bed, I moved to my comfy chair in the other room and picked up my Bible. It opened to the following verse:
Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.
(Lamentations 2:19 )
What perfect timing! Tears were flowing down my cheeks. God wasn’t overwhelmed by me. He was giving me His own “Have at it!”
I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble.
(Psalm 142:1-2 )
Chronic Joy shares more about crying out to the Lord in their section on Lament.
Father God, continue to remind us that we are not too much for You. You love us and know us and want to hear everything that is on our hearts. Help us draw closer to You, finding relief in sweet fellowship and release.
SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- Do you feel like you are “too much” for the people around you?
- Have you ever felt like you were holding in so much you might explode?
- Have you read through the Psalms to see how David talked with God? If not, try it.
Chronic Joy® Staff Writer and Prayer Team
Karin is a handmaiden of the Lord, saved by grace, a worshiper, a poet, a broken heart, a lover of words, His work in progress on the Potter's wheel. She is hungry for truth and amazed by love. After five years in Africa, Karin and Rick (her beloved husband of twenty years), are back in rural Canada where chronic pain drives her to the feet of Jesus. She is powered by prayer, love, and many cups of strong coffee. She is the author of From Ashes to Glory (A Psalm a Day).
Step in slowly. Sit with God. Allow yourself time and space to feel and experience your pain. When you’re ready, take up your pen, and explore the precious and life-giving gift of lament.