King David was a drama queen.
You’ve probably not been taught so in Sunday school, but it’s true. This giant of the faith didn’t seem to worry much about controlling his emotions with God. (Does anybody else break out in soul hives at that thought?) He bawled and screamed and begged and stomped and pointed that finger upwards accusingly, right in God’s face.
How did the sovereign Lord of everything respond? With the divine equivalent of a spanking? Or cold shoulder treatment? Maybe an apathetic shrug?
He called this emotionally turbulent shepherd king a man after His own heart. And then He rescued—over and over and over again. And then He included these prayers of angst in Scripture for the building up of His people.
To a good girl, David seems more like a moody toddler than a saint to emulate. I have to just let it all hang out like that? No thanks. I’ll be here in my Sunday best with not even a hint of anything negative allowed to pass through my heart or mind. Just shiny shoes and a plastic smile for me, please.
David had much more emotional honesty than I do, and I’m guessing it was because his view of God’s heart was so much more robust than mine is. He wasn’t afraid of a frown; he knew God could take it and that their relationship was healthy enough to withstand some spats.
Now listen, I’m not saying we are ever to disrespect our Creator. But my tendency is to go so far in the opposite direction—hiding real pain from myself and the only One who could heal me—that I stunt any chance for possible friendship. God and I operate more as Boss and uneasy underling than two lovers who can argue, make up, and be stronger for it.
King David was able to be a drama queen because he refused to let trust issues worm their way into his view of God. And here I am, stuffing everything down and remaining blind to it, allowing my pitifully shrimpy perspective of the Lord’s ability to deal to prevent forward movement.
Maybe the holiest thing I can do at this point is a good bit of wallowing.
Sounds like a great quote for a mug, right?
In order to wallow, I must face up to the truth of those scary emotions: anger, grief, disappointment, frustration, fear—the ones that, deep down, I’m not sure God will love me in. By dragging them out of the closets I’ve crammed them into, they can have space to breathe. (This doesn’t sound like a particularly good thing, right? Or especially pleasant?) But only after I’ve stopped denying their existence can Jesus sit with me in their presence.
He’s not wrathful toward my inner chaos any more than He zapped King David with a lightning bolt for penning yet another lament. The feelings that have caused such turmoil are met with mercy and compassion, a longing to wash over the sore spots in my soul. But the Healer has a hard time doing His work if I’m unwilling to see my need for it.
So I guess it’s time to let down the pretense and just pitch a fit. He can handle it. And then He can work with it.