Missing the gifts of God

By Dave Henning / April 21, 2024

“We are making ourselves sick with our coping.  We think that in our checking out and numbing out, we are relaxing, but the truth is, we are missing the gifts of God that are meant to keep us in delightful relationship with Him.”- Jennifer Allen

Jennifer Allen concludes Chapter 5 of Untangle Your Emotions with the second and third Three C’s.

2.  We Cope.  First, Jennifer notes, it’s said of Winston Churchill that he often worked from his bed or his bathtub.  Because, during World War II, he carried the emotional weight of the world.  So, Jennifer gets it that Churchill deserved a few comforts.

Certainly, the author states, on the surface some coping mechanisms we use are fairly innocuous — not altogether unhealthy.  Just like Churchill, from time to time we need to decompress.  However, Jennifer cautions, we need to keep what begins as an every-once-in-a-while habit from morphing into an everyday habit.

So, Jennifer exhorts, take your feelings to Jesus.  Ask Him to help you process this and help you be with Him.

3.  We Conceal.  When Jennifer’s son Connor was two years old, she took him to a giant Dallas mall.  Despite his sun-bleached hair and a bright orange shirt, Connor vanished.  Eventually Banana Republic staff found him hiding between a wall and a rack of pants. too terrified to speak.

Consequently, Jennifer counsels:

“Maybe you are well versed in hiding behind the pants.  You’d rather sit there quietly with all your emotions and feelings tucked inside rather than risk them coming out if you face the gravity and reality that await you.  So you stay glued to the wall.  And yet it does not change the fact that circumstances are waiting for you that must be confronted and that will not go away just because you hide behind the pants. . . .  Whenever we feel an emotion, we can use that feeling to spur us on toward God, or we can use it to sit there and sin.”

Hence, Jennifer encourages, fully embrace the purpose for which God created emotions.  Connect with God and with others.

Today’s question: What coping mechanisms result in your missing the gifts of God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the April Short Meditation, “See that smile on my Savior’s face”

About the author

Dave Henning

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