Short, simple and sweet, here’s what I’ve learned about emotional pain: You gotta let it out.
If you have to cry, then cry. Don’t hold it back.
Just let it out.
In the Psalms we see that even David, who was a man after God’s own heart and even a king, let his emotions out. If he hadn’t, we wouldn’t have so many Psalms!
I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.
In the second chapter of When the Darkness Will Not Lift, John Piper writes that crying out to God is a thing of beauty, but it doesn’t end there.
“It is a beautiful thing when a broken man genuinely cries out to God,” Piper writes. “Then after the cry you wait. ‘I waited patiently for the LORD.’ This is crucial to know: saints who cry to the Lord for deliverance from pits of darkness must learn to wait patiently for the Lord.”
So just let it out. And then wait.
And while we aren’t told how long we have to wait, we ARE told that the wait is for our good.
“There is no statement about how long David waited,” writes Piper. “Only God knows how long we must wait. The prophet Micah experienced prolonged and painful waiting. ‘I sit in darkness . . . until [the Lord] pleads my cause and . . . will bring me out to the light’ (Mic. 7:8-9). We can draw no deadlines for God. He hastens or he delays as he sees ﬁt. And his timing is all-loving toward his children.”
See? It’s for our good. And while we wait, what do we do? We hold on to the promises of God. This promise is one of my favorites: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). That doesn’t mean that life is perfect…it means that God will bring you through any trial he allows you to face. Because he loves you. And you can bank on the fact that your trials will bring you closer to God and teach you perseverance (James 1).
“The dark night of the soul…will come for almost every Christian,” says Piper. “And when it comes, we must wait for the Lord, cry to him, and know that our own self-indictment, rendered in the darkness, is not as sure as God’s Word spoken in the light.”
So just let it out. And then wait. And hold on to the promises of God.
Did you miss Part One of my blog series on When the Darkness Will Not Lift? Click here!