But I Want to Feel Better!
“God begets his Son in you whether you like it or not, whether you sleep or wake—still God is at work… by faith we can taste God in all his works, we can accept everything as from God.”
- Adapted from Meister Eckhart
“UGH! Where is God in this chaos!? What should I do?!”
“WHEW! Well, that went better than I expected, thanks Lord!”
“WAIT! WHAT! AGAIN! This totally sucks! I am confused and angry and alone and nothing is helping! Come on God, I am trying to trust you! What gives!?”
“MORE! This is unbearable! Okay God, I know, I know, I’m supposed to believe that you are with me, that you are taking care of me, but I don’t want empty platitudes, I want to feel better!”
Sound familiar? Yeah, I get it. I want the same thing. I wouldn’t mind going through the hard stuff quite so much if I could feel more confident and safe through them. But that’s not the way it works.
And the truth is, there ain’t nothing wrong about bad feelings accompanying bad situations. When things are bad it’s totally right to feel bad. Wanting it to be otherwise is like wanting an icy winter wind to warm me up by air friction.
God promises presence—not pleasure.
When the winds of suffering get really blowing, faith is surrendering my demand for good feelings and listening for the voice of God underneath the roar. It’s not a matter of distrusting my feelings, they are working just fine! It’s a matter of attending to the Word—Immanuel—Jesus, whose name means: “God is with you.”
“...I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.”
John 14:16-17 (CSB)