Mockers stir up a city,
but the wise turn away anger.
If a wise person goes to court with a fool,
the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.
The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity
and seek to kill the upright.
Fools give full vent to their rage,
but the wise bring calm in the end.
If a ruler listens to lies,
all his officials become wicked.
The poor and the oppressor have this in common:
The Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.
- Proverbs 29:8-13
“Obedience is the key to all doors, feelings come (or don’t come) and go as God pleases.”
- C. S. Lewis, Letters (7 December 1950)
Oh, how I can relate to the quote from C. S. Lewis. In the Scripture above, it talks of anger and rage, but emotions of other kinds would apply. We want the happy days to never end, and as we think of that small thought of how the day might end, our emotions shift, robbing us for a few seconds of that happiness. At every turn, our emotions can betray us, positive emotions and negative ones.
Recently, I wrote about needing a hug, because I was a little down. My wife obliged, but as we were hugging, she admonished me to grow up. At the time, I thought it was the worst hug ever.
I have recently written about how my mind and my thoughts can wander when my mind is blank. What is my mind looking for? Probably, my mind is looking for some quick fix to feel better, if only for a moment.
I looked up “feelings” in the NIV. Both references were from the book of Numbers and pertained to “feelings of jealousy.” Ouch! Feelings seem to not be helpful, just as emotions.
But then, are the feelings that you have your feelings? What I mean by that question is that my wife is going through some hard times. Our younger son recently got a new phone and he and my wife have been making video calls. The grandchildren show their artwork, sing songs, and simply smile. It warms her heart for a moment and then when they have to get off the phone for meal time or bath time, she is even deeper into depression, knowing that she is not there. And that rubs off on those who care deeply for her.
But I have also written lately about not getting a good night’s sleep. Beware of emotions. Do not rely on feelings. And before you visit the doctor to ask about the depression that you think you are sinking into, check how well you are sleeping. That can be one of those Catch-22 situations. You are depressed because you can’t sleep, but you can’t sleep because you are depressed. But stop a minute. If there is another reason for the lack of sleep, you may feel a lot better once you have a bit more deep sleep at night. This depression-lack of sleep cycle does not need to be a Catch-22.
Thinking of that, I hope to read Heller’s book again this year. Some bits are funny. Others are bittersweet. The kind of book that does not change the emotions that much, but you can escape, just for a moment.
The Bible is a good book when you feel down. There are some sad stories there, but you can find many happy stories. And along the way, you can learn about God and our home with Him where there will be no pain, and He will wipe away every tear. It cheers me up, just thinking about it.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.