Over the weekend, my 7 year old son was in a funk. It made no sense to me, we had just spent some great time together the few days prior (camping of course!), he had time with friends, etc. It seemed like things should be going well on the outside. But he just seemed sad.
So I postponed one of our activities and sat him on my lap and hugged him and said “you seem sad, tell me what’s going on?” No response. So we just sat there. Seemed like 4 minutes of silence.
After a 4 minute hug, he finally said “yeah I think I am sad…” and he listed four or five things, with more specificity than I am used to in a dad/son conversation. I even had to pause and get him the Kleenex box.
After each issue unfolded through the snot dribble, I just said “wow, that would make me feel sad too, that ‘this or that’ happened. That makes so much sense. I’m feeling sad with you just hearing about it.”
Guess what… after that 20 minute time, we hugged, got a root beer and he was off and running, full of joy, a completely new person.
Here’s what I know. We need time to be with our Father. Enough space to know that He is present with us. Then we need to do the work of communicating where we are really at. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that we are sad or in a funk and why that might be. It’s like opening up a faucet, if we can be intentional to start communicating the truth about what’s inside, the other stuff behind that initial stuff will start flowing out too.
What we know from Scripture and experience, is that our Father in heaven hears us, He knows us, He empathizes with us, and He is present with us even in our funk. Think of King David, pouring Himself out to God in the Psalms of lament.
Yes, God already knows what’s on our hearts. But maybe we need to journal our own psalm of lament to our listening Father for our own sake. So that we can be clear and know that He knows, and to be affirmed by Him in the funk.
In addition to some root beer, maybe the way out of the funk that you might be in, is a good old fashioned, sit down with a journal and your Heavenly Father and say, “God I think this is why I am sad.”
Match that with a good reflective read of Psalm 142, and see where your heart ends up at the end of that exercise. The circumstances you are in might not have changed, but being heard by Your good Father may change your heart.
A maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer.
1 I cry aloud to the Lord;
I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
2 I pour out before him my complaint;
before him I tell my trouble.
3 When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
people have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
no one cares for my life.
5 I cry to you, Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Listen to my cry,
for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.
7 Set me free from my prison,
that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
because of your goodness to me.