My wife, Libby, and I went to a concert last Thursday evening. This song has stuck in my heart. The song Blessed Assurance chorus is tucked neatly away with it.
I hope what I share here can be understood. I may wander a bit.
First I must give a little foundation. My fifties were dark years, yet more of a mixed bag of emotions as I sorted through the rights and wrongs of it all. I was medicated with Zoloft. I did not like it.
Zoloft to many of you, who read this or know what this medication is for, will understand. The side effects for me created a formidable obstacle to overcome. The most debilitating side effect creates a flat-line emotional state. Before, I could sit and cry over simple touching moments or laugh at the antics of anyone who related funny events or told jokes. After the medication took effect emotions were no more. I didn’t cry. I seldom laughed like I use to. Something had to really break through the wall created by the medication. I now have adjusted down to a half dose a day of the smallest whole dosage available in the generic Sertraline. But still, I remain in a near emotionless state. One other side effect I was told by a pharmacy tech is a fuzzy mind. I kind of understand that as well. I tend to disconnect easily from what ever I was engaged in. It is frustrating not only to me, but whoever I was connected with at that moment. I’m not being rude. It just happens.
You may want to know how do I deal with this. I do it by knowledge of what I know. I have found that going to church for instance will excite people’s emotions to the point that this is where they “feel” God. I don’t feel God that way. I do have something that triggers inside letting me know that God is present, but it may well and for the most part not be affecting my emotions.
Two things have happened in the last week that gives example of how God does do things. At the concert last Thursday evening the song attached above began and the tempo was enough to get my attention, but when it hit the Blessed Assurance chorus only two or three words into it tears welled up in my eyes. Why? Because God entered into it and I heard my mom singing it when I was a young man in church. I could see her standing on the platform between the choir section and the piano. “This Is My Story” I could hear her sing. Why did I cry? Because that was my mom’s song. Praising her Savior all the day long. That’s what she’s doing in my heart.
Then, Sunday morning as music service was coming to an end I felt God begin to move among the people of the congregation. The person who was to do the segue to another part of the service stood up, but I began to ask God to not let him stop the flow and let God minister to the people one on one. I could sense Him touching certain ones without my even looking around. It didn’t take emotion to tell me what was going on. Fortunately the person in charge let God flow as I feel he, too, knew what was happening. This is really what church is all about. Preachers preach and God speaks through them, but there are more personal moments like the brooding nature of the Spirit as He moved person to person throughout the congregation.
So. I can experience God without emotion, but if emotion is exhibited it’s comes from a much deeper level where God touched me like with hearing my mom sing that song.
As I’ve gotten older I have found more solace in knowing my salvation is secure in God. I can say when my memorial service is held there will be one song that could actually be played over and over and over. It doesn’t take emotion to know that.