Sometimes life can hit you right in the feels. And sometimes our tendency is to run from those feels. We don’t want to feel the heavy or the hurtful stuff. But there’s something great about being hit right in the feels. Check out this excerpt from the Atypical Advice Bible Plan to find out what that is.
The feels—aka a wave of emotions that hits you like a semi-truck and leaves you questioning everything—can be brutal. It’s natural to want to run from them.
Maybe you saw your ex with their new significant other. Maybe you just watched This Is Us. Maybe you got some bad news, experienced a harsh rejection, or feel alone.
Some kind of way, you’re “in your feelings.”
We often try to avoid the feels. I mean, sure, we have #foreveralone where we can unite, lament, and feel less alone in our struggles. But let’s be honest. We avoid the feels.
But Jesus—all God and all man—lived a perfect life, and He is the perfect example of how we’re supposed to live.
You want to know what advice Jesus may give you? Don’t run from the “feels;” let the feels send you running to God.
Jesus predicted His death and resurrection. You can go read about that in Matthew 16 and Mark 8. But before He actually went to the cross, where can we find Jesus? In the Garden of Gethsemane.
Luke describes Jesus as being “in such an agony of spirit” that He’s basically sweating bullets (Luke 22:44 NLT). You typically sweat when you’re nervous or scared. But, look, Jesus wasn’t running from His feelings. He was on His knees praying and bringing His feelings to His Father. He literally cried out, “Father” as He asked God to take His suffering (Luke 22:42).
The great thing about embracing those not-so-great feels is that they send us running closer to God.
At the end of His prayer, Jesus said, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” And as we lay our problems and our feelings at His feet, we’re also strengthened in our resolve to push through the pain so God’s will can be done.
Here’s another example. Jesus also knew the end game in another situation—when He raised Lazarus from the dead.
When He was first told that Lazarus was sick, Jesus’ immediate reply was that this wouldn’t end in death and that this whole situation was for God’s glory (John 11:4). Later, when Jesus and the disciples headed over to Judea, Jesus came out and said point-blank that Lazarus was going to rise again (John 11:21-23).
But, when they took Jesus to see where they buried Lazarus, Jesus started crying. Again, He embraced the feels. He knew this was for God’s glory and that He would see Lazarus in literally a few minutes, but He still took a moment to grieve. Then, just as he did in Gethsemane, Jesus cried out, “Father” and started to pray.
In this prayer, Jesus gave us a powerful reminder about God: He always hears us (John 11:41-42). That’s why we come to Him when we’re in our feelings. He listens.
And after you call on God and lay your feelings at His feet, you can find freedom. When you choose to let go, God then has the opportunity to be God. He can take control of the situation and pour out His love, joy, grace, and peace. So, embrace the feels; they’ll pave the way to a deeper faith when you let them send you running to the Father.
Here’s a cheat sheet in case you forget how to do that:
1. Pray and cry out to your Father.
2. Tell Him how you really feel.
3. See God’s will be done.