God Can Handle Your Emotions
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”
Sometimes the fullness of our emotional lives can disturb us. Some emotions may seem better or safer to admit than others, even or especially when we’re talking with God. We may be sure God wants our gratitude, for instance; we may be less willing to share our anger.
Yet Mary’s reaction to Gabriel is full of emotion of all different kinds: she’s greatly troubled, full of wonder, full of questions. It shows on her face, in her physical responses, and it comes out in her words. And the divine response to Mary is nothing but gentle: “Fear not, Mary - remember who you are - God’s favor rests on you - you are loved.”
What is your emotional landscape this morning, as you think about the different pieces of your life? What emotions fill you? Could you be courageous like Mary to express them? Would you give God a chance to meet you in the midst of your emotions with gentle love and a comforting “fear not”?