Friday, November 29, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Feelings


All The Feels
A devotional by Kristy Horine


Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
— Luke 1:39-45 (NKJV)

Sometimes, my excitement just gets all out of control. 


My body parts flail around. My feet bounce off the ground. I laugh too loudly. I use too many words in a sentence, and the words I do use are so jammed up it’s hard to tell where one word ends and the next one begins. I smile so broadly that my cheeks hurt for days. In times of extreme joy, anyone within a football field’s length of me will know about it.

This extreme excitement can happen at any time. I receive notification about someone wanting to publish my work, I get excited. My adult child applies for her dream job and scores the position, I get excited. All my hens lay perfect eggs, I get excited. The five-year-old uses her manners without me reminding her to, I get excited. I read a verse I’ve read a hundred times before and the Spirit gives me some new takeaway, I get excited.

Usually, after the initial excitement dies down, the doubt steamrolls in. Thoughts filter into my heart, like maybe good news accidentally came to me. Feelings of unworthiness loom large. Or, circumstances douse my excitement when I receive five rejections for every one acceptance.

As I read through Old Testament in The Holy Bible, I find that a lot of the people I call my Bible heroes often felt the same way. They vacillated between joy and grief, awe and conviction, excitement and doubt. Prophets, priests and kings were all driven to their knees by the presence of Almighty God. In many ways, the stories of God’s relationships with the ancients resembled the best and worst roller coaster rides ever imagined.

And then, in what scholars call the Intertestamental Period – the four hundred years between Malachi and the Gospels (books in The Holy Bible) – silence.

Silence.

Four hundred years is quite a long time with nothing happening which is exciting enough to write home about!

Perhaps that is the reason for so much emotional action in our passage. The angel Gabriel delivers the message to Mary that she will carry the long awaited Messiah within her womb in Luke 1. The roller coaster of emotions begins. In these six verses, each emotion is accompanied by action.

· Mary hastened and believed.

· Elizabeth was filled and humbled.

· An unborn baby leaped for joy.

God With Us – Emmanuel, Himself – was coming! God ordained it. Prophets foretold it. Angels proclaimed it. Mary believed it. Elizabeth accepted it.

And what about me? Or, you?

In this season of silence between Thanksgiving and Christmas, how will we prepare our hearts to receive anew the gift of the Christ child?

Why not try on a little of each emotion? Consider the joy and the grief, the awe and the conviction, the excitement and the doubt, the belief and the humility. Take a few moments each day to meditate on His Holy Word (The Holy Bible).

Here’s a list of Bible verses for you to start meditating on:

· Joy – Luke 2:10-11 and Hebrews 12:1-2

· Grief – Isaiah 53:4-6 and 2 Corinthians 7:10

· Awe – Psalm 65:8 and Exodus 15:11

· Conviction – 1 John 1:9 and Romans 8:1-2

· Excitement–Psalm 28:7 and Romans 15:13

· Doubt – 2 Corinthians 13:5 and Romans 8:38-39

· Belief – Mark 9:23-24

· Humility – Philippians 2:1-11

Yes, my arms will still flail around, my feet wildly bounce, my laugh will be too loud and my words will run on and on … but that’s how it is in the midst of all the feels. All the wonderful, life-giving feels that come with the advent of Jesus Christ.

Let’s Pray: Father God, refresh my spirit, cleanse me from iniquity, may all my excitement, all my joy, all my belief, be found in You. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

~*~
Author Bio:

Kristy Horine is a Kentucky writer, freelance journalist by trade and creative by God’s grace.

She writes a little bit of everything including poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Her professional and creative work has been published in newspapers, magazines and anthologies in Kentucky and beyond.

Kristy founded 3rd Letter Christian Writers in Lexington, Kentucky in 2015. Read more of her work at www.kristyhorine.com.

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