Recently I have been struggling with understanding my emotional responses to my wife. It is a humbling experience to admit that after 45 years of marriage, I am still working on responding rightly to my wife. But I am learning to stay with the storm inside and not run away to a safe place that has been created by my false self. This is a place of illusion, defensiveness, and fear. I have to face this tendency in myself and come out into the open, as I lovingly engage my wife. It can be a fearful, confusing and humbling exercise. But if I let myself go into the arms of my loving heavenly Father, as I engage my wife, I sense that I am being held in love. This is what gives me courage to stay involved and connected, engaging my wife in what I perceive to be an emotional storm that I want to flee from. It has the sensation of a young boy, still learning to grow up learning to responsibily face his emotional storms of life. ( O, God help me to grow up)
The words of the Psalmist give me hope and encouragement. “Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit, to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, you’d find me in a minute – you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!!” It’s a fact: darkness, isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you” (Ps 139:7-12 – The Message). What a relief to know that the eyes of my loving heavenly Father see me in the darkness of my fear and insecurity and in love he wants to bring me into the light of freedom and trust.
The present struggles I have with woman ( my wife) continue to show me that many of the issues relating to my lifestory, that I thought had been examined, clarified, confessed, and given to the Lord, only recycle at a deeper level. The growth process is never over. But it seems that the grace is always there to take the next step into the darkness, so that the light of Jesus can bring me into that safe place in him. A wild man knows this. He is committed to fighting for his heart. He knows that God will choose the time and place for him to go into battle for his heart. That is when a wild man will need to descend into the confusion and uncertainty of his heart, while surrendering control and the need to understand. There is no other way to deal with the fear. Jesus tells us “don’t fear.” He is there with us.
So my encouragement to any wildman reading this blog, is to not run away. Instead flee to Jesus. Don’t let darkness get a grip on your soul. Peter reminds us, “Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The devil is poised to pounce and would like nothing better than to catch you nappinig. Keep your guard up (I Pet 5:8-9 – The Message). If you need to, cry out to God like the Psalmist. “From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer” (Ps 130:1-2). So don’t run away, but stay in the light. Face your pain and fear. Admit you are not able. This is God’s way of humbling you, so that you might be willing to leave that dark place of hiding. He wants to strengthen you in spirit and soul. But you have to come out and join him on this new leg of your journey.