Morrisons Cove Herald - Putting cows on the front page since 1885.

By PASTOR LEE SEESE
Correspondent 

Lines by Lee

I Have a Feeling

 

I must admit that I do not feel like writing this column today. I really did not feel like writing it yesterday either. However, you obviously feel like reading it; so I will press ahead. Think of many times since you were a small child that you have not felt like doing something.

Children do not have to be taught to disobey. Sometimes they simply do not feel like obeying because they would rather not do the responsibility or task at hand. Clean your room. Share. Don't pull your sister's hair. Get your homework done. Don't talk with your mouth full. Why didn't you do what you were told? "I didn't feel like it."

Even when I was a youth pastor I did not always feel like going to church. I went anyway. Sometimes I don't feel like reading my Bible or praying. Those are powerful things to pass up just because of how I feel or don't feel. How many times did I encourage students to share their faith with friends only to succumb to fearful feelings when I should have shared Christ with my peers?

I am sure there are times when you may not feel like getting out of bed. I know two teenaged boys who apparently do not feel like going to bed at what their parents consider a decent hour. A lot of folks do not feel like going to work. Lately millions of people feel like going to work but cannot do so at this time. When reading or watching the news it is easy for one to feel overwhelmed or hopeless. Pandemics can be a real downer.

We know that our emotions or feelings should not be what determine our choices. We also realize our emotions are God-given. We should not deny what we are feeling. What we do with our thoughts is up to us. Many couples have broken up because one person did not feel good about the relationship or the direction it was taking. Of course when that happens, it leaves the former partner feeling upset, sad, and lost. A popular song in the Seventies addressed those wo-oh-oh Feelings.

My wife is more of a feelings-oriented eater than I am. She will say things like, "I am not in the mood for chicken tonight." For me, if it is a food that I like I don't need to have a special feeling to choose to eat it. Back when people went out to eat at restaurants, the meal that was least expensive was the one I usually felt like ordering.

There are many times when we must overcome negative feelings. Perhaps someone has wronged you in the past or seems to avoid you. You probably don't feel good about those folks. It is at those times we must remember what Jesus said about loving our neighbor (Matthew 5:38-48). Loving our enemies? Walking an extra mile? Sacrifice? I don't feel like it! If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different than anyone else? Even pagans do that (47).

I am sure Jesus did not always feel like instructing his disciples or dealing with the religious figures of the day. Jesus never sinned but he could still relate to people. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus had emotions and feelings. He can empathize with his followers during our trials, tragedies, and temptations. He was no doubt tempted with negative feelings. Think of all he had to deal with and overcome. We are not Jesus; but we can look to him as an example during difficult times and seasons of life. Isaiah prophesied of Jesus – He was despised and rejected - a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief (Isaiah 53.3).

The Psalms are packed with writers who were being very honest about their feelings. Many times they were excited about praising God for who he is and what he had done. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God (Psalm 84:2). Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy (Psalm 98:4)! Feeling good led the Psalmists to praising well.

But there were many examples of moments of weakness and not feeling so great too. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God (Psalm 42:5; 11). Like us, the men who penned the Psalms talked to themselves before talking to God. Their words reflected the fact that they did not always feel good about themselves or the Lord. They had questions and struggles. How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me (Psalm 13:1-2)? God can handle our questions and tears. His Son had his share of them. Notice how the short Psalm ends. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord's praise, for he has been good to me (5-6). Life is dark and dreary sometimes. When you feel down, look up. Praise God. Practice his presence. And keep things in perspective. I have a feeling you will be glad you did!

 

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