I was talking with an older couple that had been happily married for many years, asking them their secret to long and fulfilling marriage and they shared with me this story. As they were dating, then courting, then engaged they were both so enamored and head-over-heals-in-love they did all they could to spend time with each other, give gifts to each other, and express their love for each other as much as they could, and with as much passion-energy-effort they could muster. He would buy her daisies and taffy, both he knew were her favorite. She would fix him his favorite chicken sliced sandwich, with pickles and wear that favorite perfume he loved. They had a blast dating and soon were married. Though wars, jobs, and extended family issues kept them apart, their love grew and with appearances of daisies, taffy, chicken sandwiches, and perfumed love notes.
But something happened about five years into their marriage that revolutionized their relationship and brought their connection to a whole new level of depth and intimacy. He was packing away some of those perfumed letters as he was talking to his brother who said, “Wow those letter smell like mom!” He explained to his brother that it was true, his wife seemed to enjoy the same perfume as their mom. It was tough for him to get over at first but love prevailed. As he was explaining this, his wife over heard and said she did not like it much either and took a bit to overcome, but she loved him more. They both were amazed and wished they would have been honest and open about this. The daises and taffy were also not her favorite and neither was the chicken sandwich.
See, their secret was honesty, yes honesty, smothered in love, helped them develop and flourish in a happy, loving, thriving marriage relationship.
This is just the kind of honestly God desires us as we communicate and connect with Him. Jesus said…
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
We are to go to Jesus in prayer and honestly share our frustrations, hurts, struggles, and issue with Him.
1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.
The word cast means to chuck, to throw, to hurl, toss, fling, pitch, discard all our anxieties on Him. To let it out. To, in love, honestly vent our feelings to God. It’s a pattern of prayer we are taught from the Bible book of Psalms. We are to express our pent up frustrations with God. Here are a few examples of honest prayer…
Psalm 10:1 Why, O LORD, do you stand afar off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
Psalm 10:15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.
Psalm 35:26 Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether who rejoice at my calamity! Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves against me!
Psalm 58:8 Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime, like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.
Wow, those are some honest words of venting. Not disrespectful, nor irreverent, but truthful, authentic, candid expressions from the heart. This is where the wrestle is as we encounter God in prayer. God desires our honest, open, and sincere communication. For when we do, He guides us.
Proverbs 3:5-7 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
Read that verse again and insert the word honestly before the words ‘trust’ and ‘acknowledge.’ To truly trust and acknowledge is to be honest with God in how we feel. When we are this honest with God, something miraculous happens; we grow in our understanding and trust of God and we mature in faith. Like Psalmist who vented in Psalm 10 we will grow in faith…
Psalm 10:17 O LORD, You hear the desire of the afflicted; You will strengthen their heart; You will incline Your ear
So be open, frank, straightforward, and honest with God. Yes, smothered in love, let it out. God can handle it. Why not give it a try.
Seeking to continue to be honest with God in prayer with you,
PS As we continue this summer in our teaching series entitled, “Wrestling with God in Prayer: Intense Internal Interactions with God’s Holy Spirit about Life,” we are talking about this honest wrestle of venting our feelings with God. We would love for you to either join us at one of our branch churches or listen on-line. Here is our web site to help you connect: www.cypresschurch.net