Reigning over our Emotions

I am so grateful that we serve a God who reigns over all, but sometimes I wonder how He does it? I can’t even keep control over my own tiny “kingdom”, much less anyone else’s. While I could talk about losing control over my household order, I really am thinking more about my personal emotions.

As the days are now down to just a handful until we mark Raouf’s departure, I find myself having to make extra efforts not to cry at random times throughout the day. Today, for instance, I just found it hard to get out of the chair and get dressed. After driving to Chattanooga with some colleagues, I sat down at my desk at work, and found this picture of Raouf and David staring at me. I had to literally tell myself: “Hold it in, Carol.”

Life goes on — I can’t just burst out in tears in the middle of it. Yet, how do we in the Grief Walk handle these hard days? I make a choice to look to the One who knows our every need (Matt. 6:8) and who says to me:

Come unto me, Carol…I know you are weary and heavy burdened, but I WILL give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul…for MY yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matt. 11:28-30)

What kind of yoke is Jesus asking me to take up? It is the yoke of His instruction, His way. The Law of the Pharisees was burdensome and impossible to follow, but Jesus’ way leads to life and peace. Paul reminds us that He will not give us more than we can bear, for Jesus, through His Spirit, walks with us, carrying the load. He’s already paid the price that the Law required, that we may walk joyfully in His way through this world.

The Way of Christ allows me to stop and find rest, when I feel the load of grief growing. When I stop, Christ picks it up and carries it for me, which allows me to stand up once more and continue on the way. He shares that yoke with me, making it light and not overwhelming on my end.

Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Is. 55:3), so when I stop and think on Him, my own grief is lifted. Christy Nockels says it well in her song, “Leaning on You Jesus”:

I am leaning in with a quiet trust
To my source of life, to the one I love
I am drawing near with my hands held high
For I know that You satisfy
And the same grace that saved me
Is the same grace that keeps me…
Leaning, leaning on You, Jesus
Leaning on the wonders of Your Cross
I am leaning, leaning on You, Jesus
Leaning on the everlasting arms…

So, when I can’t rule over my emotions, I lean on the One who can…and find rest.

Grace and Peace


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