An extended stay during a family emergency turned out to be an unexpected blessing. As I drove up and down the Keweenaw Peninsula of Upper Michigan several times, I had the privilege of enjoying the splendor of God’s creation in a way I never had. Vivid reds, oranges, and golds covered the peninsula mountains and roadsides for miles upon miles. Such breathtaking beauty! Such a taste of what’s to come when God returns with a new heaven and earth.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
When it rains, if we’re smart we use an umbrella, hat, or rain gear. When it snows, we get out the parka. In the fall we cover our flowerbeds and vegetable gardens with mulch or plastic. There are many ways to protect ourselves and the things that are dear to us.
Sometimes, however, we put a blanket on our raw emotions in an effort to avoid or hide them. How many times have you answered someone’s “How are you?” with a smile and a “Fine,” when you didn’t feel fine at all? You may have been crying on the inside because someone criticized you. You may have felt self-pity or loneliness when a friend or spouse neglected you. Perhaps you were sad because a loved one was ill or had died, or felt anxious and fearful about an encounter with someone who had threatened you.
Covering our bad feelings is common to most of us. We don’t like to expose our hurts and failures to others. Not that we should spew out our feelings of self-pity and anger to everyone. It’s always good to address our feelings, problems, or faults with those we love or with people of trustworthy counsel. But the problem with cover-ups is—they leave no chance for the problem to be solved. They also give others the wrong impression about us and, if we continue in the lie, we eventually tend to believe the lie ourselves.
God cannot work in our lives until we’re willing to remove our emotional blankets and expose our true selves to Him. Like a shepherd who covers the raw wounds of his sheep with oil, Jesus the Good Shepherd will bring healing to our body, soul, and spirit through His powerful anointing. When we finally remove our coverings and replace them with His, then joy, peace, and freedom will be ours forever.
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One…” 1 John 2:20
Lord, forgive us when we’ve covered our bad feelings and our sins, thus hindering You from giving us Your perfect covering. Give us the will and strength to remove the coverings we’ve held onto for so long. We want Your joy, Your peace, and Your freedom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.