Did you ever notice how often you find yourself crying during worship or prayer? I’ve found that often it is in these times that I find myself crying, thinking about things that hurt me or make me angry. I get mad at myself, and tell myself to cut it out–focus on God and his awesomeness. But a lot of the time that isn’t what God wants!
If you are a parent, then you know that when your kids get a boo-boo, you have to clean out the wound. A little peroxide on the wound to clean it out and disinfect. It hurts and stings, but it has to be done. Otherwise, infection will set in. We blow on it, give it kisses and then a bandage.
God does the same as the ultimate parent. He knows the darkness hurting our heart. He knows the wounds we have even better than we do. The hurts. The anger. The disappointments. The failures. The shame and the guilt. Those are the boo-boo’s of our heart. Often during times of closeness with him, he will bring them up for us to deal with. To release. Too often in life we try to ignore those spots. We try to quench the tears that come. But His Holy Spirit comes, points to the spot of injury, and then we can’t stop ourselves. But that is a good thing. Because it is through the releasing of those hurts, through facing them and feeling them, that he can heal those spots. That is when the Holy Spirit applies ointment to those wounds, and stops the infection that was spreading.
More than once I’ve found myself throwing a doozy of a tantrum over something I didn’t even know was bothering me! But God knew. One particular time I was mad at God for not giving me something after all the work I’d been doing “for him.” I didn’t know I’d been mad, but boy, was I! I sat there in prayer time, throwing a temper tantrum like a spoiled little toddler. God waited patiently, letting me vent and get it out. Then I heard “Are you done yet?” I started laughing right then and there. As a parent of a toddler myself, I knew what it felt like. As I let go of my anger and composed myself, a stranger approached. He was a pastor at another church, and told me he’d seen me earlier in the conference and felt like God had a message for me. Guess what God did? He gave me that thing I’d been throwing the tantrum over. God sure has a sense of humor!!
Actually, it makes perfect sense. God isn’t interested in our piety or pretending that everything is okay. God wants our honest truths. When we are real with God, he can be real with us. When I gave up the pretense that any amount of work could ever earn anything from God, I got what I most desired. When I was real with God, when I threw the tantrum and quit hiding the worst part of my nature–that’s when I got what I’d been working so hard for. Five years later as I look back, I love God even more for making me be that real with him.
So next time those tears well up and God is stirring your heart–let him. He wants to clean out that boo-boo. He wants to kiss it and make it all better. So let him!