We tell our kids that it’s ok to feel however they feel.
That sad and angry are ok.
That it’s only our actions that get us in trouble, not our feelings.
But do we believe it?
Or do we try to rush ourselves—and each other—through the hard feelings?
Do we offer a platitude and avert our gaze?
This is one of the reasons that I love Nehemiah.
You guys, he keeps it real.
He doesn’t deny the gravity of the situation.
His brothers and sisters are in danger. Vulnerable to attack.
The whole situation is a mess.
So what does Nehemiah do?
He sits down.
Not in resignation, but in expectation.
He weeps and mourns.
For days. Maybe months.
This was not a quick cry.
He owned the sadness. The sorrow. The anger.
He fasts and prays.
Friends, God and sadness are not incompatible.
God and anger are not incompatible.
Nehemiah got this.
He let his feelings and his God share space.
This was our sermon last week.
But it’s a word that I desperately need to hear today.
As I look around at the broken walls in my life,
The gravity of the situation threatens to overwhelm.
The feelings are strong. And not happy.
And here, too, God is God.
Unafraid of the mess.
Unthreatened by the feelings.
In no particular rush to snatch me up and over to the happy ending.
And so I will let him share space with all of it.