Is It Ok to Feel Weird?
Sep 06, 2016
Have you ever felt weird or out of sorts? Are pastors allowed to be in "a weird place"? Or are we supposed to be always on top of things, always in the know, confident, poised and joy-filled at all times? Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of Bible passages that talk about praying without ceasing and being filled with joy at all times. But, we all have those days, and for me right now...I am in a weird place.
Why the weirdness? Because, I feel like the grim reaper.
As I sit here and write this, it is at the end of a 19-hour day which started with a panicked phone call at 2 am, asking me to meet some members at the hospital to comfort an old friend after the loss of her husband. Later this morning, I found myself planning the funeral service for another elderly member whom I had the pleasure of building a relationship with over the last five years.
In the past four weeks, I have said goodbye to four members of our church family. I have been actively visiting one of our prayer warriors, a mentor to me, a leader of our church and a true, dear friend as he battles cancer. I also just realized this week is the three year birthday of a little girl who would have been my daughter's best friend had she not gone to be with Jesus earlier than I (and her parents) would have liked.
That is why I feel like the grim reaper. That is why I feel weird.
So today, I don't know if I have any insightful, powerful words of wisdom, but I do have this: HIS words of comfort for anyone out there right now, who, like me, is in a weird place. The only words that a Pastor should speak at a time like this.
Maybe you're watching a loved one's health decline. Maybe your own health isn't what it should be and you're worried that things will just snowball and get worse. Maybe you know the folks I've mentioned in this blog and you too have been going through your own "valley of the shadow of death" recently. If so, I want to share these words of comfort with you.
It's OK to be weird. God gave us feelings for a reason. He didn't give us the full-spectrum of emotions so we could simply feel one or two of them all the time.
If you are walking through a valley, remember this: because... "The Lord is my shepherd, I [shall] have everything that I need. [I know and I can trust that] He makes me lie down in green [peaceful] pastures, [and] He leads me beside quiet waters [where] He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right way to go [even when I am so confused, worried and anxious that I don't know where I'm going] because I am His child. [So I know that...] Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I won't be afraid, for You are with me; [Your strong fatherly hand of protection and guidance] brings me comfort [even in the midst of my darkest fears]." (Psalm 23 NIV...with my own personal paraphrases)
For as God said to Joshua: