Feelings are a gauge, not a guide.
It rang true again this morning when I stood in the shower “not feeling it.” Ever have one of those days, where you’re just not feeling it? For me, as a Christian, that hits hard. To not feel the joy I know Christ has given me could almost make me feel like a failure. I’ve always said of my faith in Jesus that “I know that I know, that I know.” I know Jesus died for me, and though doubts may come, in my heart I know it is true. I know God is real because my spirit tells me so. That’s the part of me that’s the guide; my spirit self.
Feelings can make you wake up grumpy. They can make you short-tempered, or even sad. They can make you feel helpless, and somedays even hopeless. They can make you feel frustrated, mad at the world, or like crawling under a rock! They can leave you elated, or totally deflated. You just never know. That’s the thing about feelings; they’re not reliable. They can tell you what your mood is at the moment, but they don’t predict the future or even always tell the truth. Feelings can be wonderful! Who doesn’t love falling in love?! The butterflies and whatnot. But broken hearts stink. The thing is feelings are similar to a storm on the ocean. The waves rise and fall, and they can knock you flat. But they don’t predict the sun that will rise, the rainbow that will grace the blue sky, or the calm current to follow. They’re a gauge of what you’re going through at the moment, but not the guide that maneuvers you through it all.
This morning when I wasn’t feeling it, when I wasn’t feeling the joy that I know persists in my life, I didn’t allow that gauge to push me deeper under the water. Instead, I reached for the rope of truth, the guide that kept me steady in a sea of changing feelings. That truth said joy was there even if I didn’t feel it.
I began to speak to the Lord. “You are the rock on which I stand, my strong tower, my refuge of strength.”
Even if I felt I was on shifting sand I knew I stood on a rock foundation. The funny thing is that when you speak truth you see beyond feelings. Feelings can make you feel like you’re in the dark sometimes, but the truth always brings you into the light. And you know what? That feels good!