A Filter for Our Emotions

A large part of my spiritual journey is closely connected to my emotions and how I invite God into the internal world of my feelings. It's so easy for my heart to be hijacked when I give my emotions unfiltered freedom. Yet my emotions are an not to be ignored or denied. They are an important part of who I am as an image-bearer. I've learned to listen to my emotions.They give voice to the struggles and longings that stir deep within my soul. When I invite Father into this part of my life freedom and faith emerge.

Saturday morning I woke feeling anxious and afraid. Friends who know me well know that fear has been a consistent character in my story. It doesn't always have a reason. It just appears. Rather than allowing unfiltered fear to steal my heart I spent some time journaling what I was feeling that morning, reading the Psalms and asking Father to meet me in the place of my fear.

For your unfailing love toward me is as great as the heights of the heavens above the earth. You are like a Father to me, tender and compassionate to me.  For you understand how weak I am (Psalm 103:11,13-14).

I wrote these words in my journal Saturday morning...

Father I have once again been reminded of my brokenness and weakness. My heart so easily drifts to places that feel hard. I struggle with fear. I feel inadequate as a husband, father and pastor. I struggle with deeply engrained flesh patterns that haunt me. I find comfort that you understand my weakness and brokenness. It takes the edge off the shame I sometimes feel that my faith is not stronger than it is. Thank you for your mercy, patience and forgiveness. Your tenderness as a Father stirs within me a longing to rest more comfortably in the awareness of your unfailing love for me. Thank you for loving me with tenderness and compassion.   GF

As I wrote these words my heart felt lighter. A smile came to my face. Father led me to a quiet place where faith stilled my fear. My emotions, while still very real, were now filtered through the reminder of God's enduring love for me.

Fighting for your heart,

Gary Franklin

Reflections for your spiritual journey:

  1. Think about the role your emotions play in your spiritual outlook and journey?
  2. Do you see your emotions as fertile soil for spiritual formation or something to be avoided? 
  3. Think about an emotional pattern than plays a major role in your life. Bring the emotion to Father as a reflection of your desire to do life togther and invite Him to filter what you feel with His presence.