Am I just being dramatic?

I was reading Psalm 109 this week and thought, "Wow, David sounds kind of dramatic here." Most of the Psalm is David pleading for God to punish his enemies harshly, cut off their posterity, blot our their names and their memory from the earth, etc. The usual.

He laments:
"For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is stricken within me.
I am gone like a shadow of evening;
I am shaken off like a locust
." Psalm 109:22-23
I think I was feeling a battle of my values, or, maybe you could say, my cultures. My American culture values strength and stoicism, independence and individual freedom. 

The American Psalm might go something like this:
Pull yourself up by the bootstraps, 
such is the one God helps. 
Self-made hustlers,
push past pain.
Whiners aren't winners, 
so don't be dramatic. 
Ignore all the critics. 
Stay positive and
make lemonade from those lemons.
Only you have the power to 
wield your future.
It's all in your hands.
Your only limit is you!
So believe in yourself.

(Thanks Pinterest for the wealth of memes.)

Then there's my Kingdom culture, the culture of my God who calls himself a Shepherd and Father. It struck me that David's honest lament is exactly why God loved David and called him a man "after my heart" (Acts 13:22).

God devotes a whole book of the Bible to a collection of outpourings of David's heart--literally at the heart of our Bible.
"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us." (Psalm 62:8 ESV)
God didn't value David for his stoicism, his bravado, his independence, or his puffery; He prized him for his honest humility. God drew near to David because David drew near to Him.

See, being honest about your feelings before your Father (and others) is not being dramatic; it's being human. And God meets humans in their honest humility. That's also where humans meet other humans.

There's no shame in being a human being created in the image of God, made to live in a dependent relationship with God. Needy is not bad; it's just where you expect those needs to be met that gets tricky. 

I know it's uncomfortable to sit with hard feelings, to say
I'm sad.
I'm afraid.
I'm angry.

It's hard to sit with those feelings long enough to bring them before God.

It's so much easier to run, to numb it, to distract ourselves. But the consequences of not bringing our hearts before the Lord is ruining us--with anxiety, depression, addictions, distractions, idols of our hearts.

I know the struggle well. And I'm wrestling here between these two cultures. How about you?

Today, I've created a shareable image below that you can save and share on social media to start a conversation (if you're so inclined 😉) or just save as a reminder for yourself.

click to save:
PRAYING the Word
Jesus, thank you that when we draw near to you, you draw near to us (James 4:8). Teach us to live as you intended us to live--as humans in a relationship with you. Teach us to pour out our hearts at all times before you like David. Let our laments lead us to worship you for your faithfulness. 

QUESTIONS to consider:
1. What do the Psalms teach you about how God relates to you and your emotions?
2. What are some consequences of not being honest before God?
3. How can honesty about emotions benefit interpersonal relationships?

4. How did Jesus deal with emotions as a human?

*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!

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