Daily Gratitude Year 9- Day 200: Today, I am grateful we can feel it and be free.
Growing up with Mama Ina Mae, I had a constant example of optimism. Dad leaned that way, too, but Mama was never defeated. She had so many little sayings that encouraged us to never give in and never give up. She was always the greatest of encouragers.
We all get overwhelmed at times. One of the things I think most of us are guilty of is fearing our feelings. Devastating losses. Empty nests. Lost jobs. Broken hearts and broken relationships are some other feelings we would rather not experience.
There are times we need to let go of what we believe to be control and simply feel the feelings.
"Feel it. The thing that you don't want to feel, feel it, and be free." -Nayirrah Waheed
Apparently, human nature resists bad feelings. We can't feel good all of the the time. We can feel the feelings and let them go. It is freeing. I think it might be at the heart of what we call prayer and fasting. Pray it through. Let it be uncomfortable. Then, let it go.
Prayer and fasting is in both the Old and New Testaments. I love this passage from Nehemiah:
"As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven." -Nehemiah 1:4
And in the new Testament, I am love the record of the Prophetess Anna who was widowed after only 7 years of marriage and lived to be 84.
" She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day." -Luke 2:37
Her faithfulness was rewarded. Anna understood that she had lived to see prophecy fulfilled. God revealed to her that she had witnessed the presenting of the Messiah. The long awaited answer to their prayers had arrived, but most only saw a baby. Her years of prayer and fasting did not go unnoticed by God.
Daniel faced trials with prayer and fasting, too. He faced a den of hungry lions and managed to sleep through the night. He faced anxious kings and did not cower. Scripture doesn't say he had no fear. The Word tells us he fasted and prayed.
There is value in feeling the feelings and being free. Turning them over to the one who is going to be up all night anyway, holding the universe in place. Surely, our trials are not too big or too much for His mighty hand.
Today, I am grateful we can feel it and be free.