So often my inner monologue goes something like this:
"Lord, I know Your Word says children are a blessing, but this sure doesn't feel like a blessing right now--I am not enjoying it."
"I know we're not supposed to complain about the weather, but I sure am sick of this cold and ready for spring."
"Getting this Mac was a huge blessing, I know, but right now I hate it; I'm so annoyed with learning something new."
Notice a pattern? My emotions get the last word. "Truth, BUT...emotions that drown out that truth."
More and more I'm realizing the need to practice exactly the opposite:
"Lord, I'm really struggling to enjoy and appreciate this blessing, but You have indeed blessed me with a son to raise for Your glory. Through him I can have an impact on places I will never go, people I will never meet, in a time I will not live to see. Through him You are refining me, teaching me patience, exposing my sin, giving me glimpses of my helplessness and Your Father-heart. You have chosen such a kind, gentle, beautiful way to refine me. You love me and are committed to making me holy! You are using motherhood and all its difficulties to glorify Your name and remake me in the image of Your Son. You are graciously teaching me humility and dependence on You; You are tearing down the idols in my heart because You are jealous for my affections. This is hard, but You are with me and I have every reason to praise You!"
"Lord, I definitely like warm weather better than cold, but you are sovereign over everything, including weather, and You know what's best. You wisely send both rain and sunshine; the cold days make me appreciate the warm all the more."
"I'm feeling frustrated with change and it's hard to learn something new--but thank You for the blessing of having a computer at all, let alone a brand-new one!"
Same content...totally different perspective. Who gets the last word? The fact is, my emotions are untrustworthy and God's Word is true, not vice versa. Rather than letting my fickle feelings about my circumstances trump what is eternally true, I need to submit my emotions to the Truth.
I'm not saying it's wrong to be honest about how I feel. The emotions are real, and it's better to acknowledge them than to bury them and pretend they don't exist. But I don't want to let myself be ruled by them. Emotions make terrible masters. My heart can only be ruled by one Master--and how much better to be ruled by the wise, loving, sovereign, NEVER-changing King...than my foolish, self-centered, limited-perspective, constantly-shifting emotions?
Two of the most beautiful words I have memorized over the last few months are "BUT God." Horrible truth about who we were in our sin and the hopelessness of our condition...But God, being rich in mercy, trumped that hopelessness. Reality was bleak--but God was bigger.
This week I'm trying to "...But God" my emotions. I'm learning to let the King have the last word.