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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Soul (07/13/06)

By Donna Haug


Searing anger.

Bubbling joy.

Soothing contentment.

Grating envy.

Welling love.

Riding the crest of the most glorious wave ... only to plummet to the depths of the darkest ocean.

Our emotions.

Do you ever wonder why God made us as He did? The great triune God created man with a body, soul, and spirit. And He longs for us to honor Him with ALL of who we are.

It is easy to comprehend that a God who is Spirit desires for us to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Our spirit was created to walk with God. Before we accepted Christ, that was the very part of us that was dead. He breathed life into our spirit, and now we can walk and talk with Him.

Our physical bodies also must bow in reverence before a holy God. We guard our actions and our words zealously, knowing that they are the outflow of what is in the heart. We are careful what we eat (usually) because we want to care for our bodies and honor God with all of our strength.

But how can we worship God with something so fickle as our soul - the hotbed of boiling emotions? Look back on your own life. Remember when you were so angry at God that you blocked Him out of your life for a time, or screamed at Him until your voice hurt - though no one else could hear? Remember when joy bubbled up inside you in God's presence, maybe even when you were alone somewhere, and you could not help but dance around? You did not care at all if you looked foolish. You could not help it. Remember when you felt the love of God flooding your soul at the most difficult point in your life? You sensed His arms wrap around you, and you felt so secure. Remember when your sunburned and salt-encrusted soul felt so dry before God that you seemed to be just going through the motions?

If we were honest, I think all of us would say that we have experienced some of these emotions. Some of us by personality tend to live on a more even keel emotionally. We do not get too extreme on either end of the scale. But feeling dry in God's presence can be a big challenge. Others of us flounder around on the highs and lows of the sea of life and just hang on to the life jacket for dear life! Oh, the wonder of God's presence at times. But how deep the dispair when He does not seem to be there.

No Biblical writer exemplifies a man tossed about by his emotions more then King David. The Psalms are full of heartfelt cries of dispair, anger, joy and praise. But always his heart ultimately turned to God, the One who was his only hope. "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God." Ps. 42:11 (NKJV) Somehow, inspite of all of David's failures and the number of times he screamed at God, he was still called a "man after God's own heart". His trust was in a God who was entirely dependable, steady, and unchanging.

No matter where we are on the soul sea, God wants us to honor and worship Him with all of who we are - including our souls. We must commit to trusting Him, even when we do not feel His soothing presence. We must love Him if the sun is shining brightly or if we feel like we are drowning in sorrow. Let us keep steady, sailing towards our goal, in rough seas or smooth. God is completely trustworthy. One day we will reach the safe harbor. All our doubts and fears will flee. When we see Jesus face to face, it will be worth it all!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 07/20/06
Really good title, and I like the metaphor throughout of the sea and of steady sailing. Lots of encouragement here. I wished you'd ended it in a fresher way, however. Your paragraph that begins with "But..." is just super.
Lucile McKenzie07/20/06
Lovely idea and you follow the metaphore all the way. I especially like the descriptive phrase, "sunburned and salt-encrusted soul." Thoughtful, well-written. Lucile McKenzie
Virginia Gorg07/21/06
So true - God does want all of us. Nicely done and flows well. :)
Mishael Witty07/22/06
Love the metaphor. I think all of us, whether we want to admit it or not, have some "rough sea" periods in our lives. One nit-picky citation thing - you paraphrase some Bible verses in the first few paragraphs, so I think it would be good if you included the references to them. This might be especially helpful in leading other people to God's Word, since they may not be as familiar with it. Also, I found one spelling error - "despair," instead of "dispair." Overall, this was a really enjoyable read. Thanks.
Constance Gilbert07/23/06
It is comforting to know that others experience and understand those fickle seas of emotion. They are a part of how God made us; althought I don't like the ups and downs at times, I am glad that I am , like David said, uniquely made.
I enjoyed your writing & came back to re-read it- thanks.
Do agree that scriptural references allow the reader a choice to read more in God's Word.
Debbie Sickler07/27/06
I'm glad you decided to hint, even so late in the week. This was a very thought provoking entry. I'm glad I read it tonight. :)
Joanne Sher 07/27/06
A great exposition on the soul - thanks for hinting - even if it was late!!