After acknowledging the hurt, we also have to recognize the negative emotions that usually follow pain. A friend of mine shared with me how she taught her daughters from a young age about their emotions. She said emotions are like wild horses who want to jump, kick, and make loud noises. In order to tame the wild horses within, we can’t stuff our feelings. They will leak out one way or another. Instead, we must get honest in front of God and others about the emotions that betrayals or hurtful actions unearth in us and ask God for help.
At times we all feel negative emotions toward persons who hurt us, so what are we to do with those emotions? We have options just as Joseph’s brothers had. We can:
- Dwell on it and let it fester inside.
- Take steps of vengeance against those we perceive to be the source of our pain.
- Ask God to help us heal.
Sometimes we do all of these. The tough question is, Where do we start when we want to heal but the wild horses won’t stop thrashing about in our hearts and minds?
Joseph’s brothers chose vengeance, which led to other negative decisions such as covering up the crime with lies. But we can make a different choice.
1 John 3:20 says, “Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.” As we will see throughout the Genesis narrative, Joseph knew that God was greater than his feelings and learned to tame his wild horses.
I pray you’ll remain open to how God wants to work in your life as we learn how Joseph was able to take his hurt and hate to God and find healing. Remember, God is greater than your feelings and He knows everything!