Communication is important. But communication can also be hard. The trickiest thing is often how we effectively communicate our emotions. Especially if our emotions are painful. It isn’t always easy, is it?
Emotions can be difficult to communicate because not everyone will have the vocabulary to describe how they feel. Especially if those emotions are painful. Sometimes words just aren’t enough. This can be a real struggle for Christians. Can we effectively communicate pain without being irreverent? Can we really voice our anger at God because of the situation we find ourselves in?
This is one of the reasons that I love the Bible. The Bible covers a full range of human emotions. The book of Psalms is a treasure trove of biblical emotions and words that we can use.
Maybe you can’t describe the depths of despair you feel at the loss of a loved one. Maybe you can’t express the pain you feel which keeps you awake all night crying. Or maybe you can’t express the sense of being lost that you feel. Words may have failed you, but the Psalms are full of biblical metaphors and images that can help you.
Metaphors are a powerful tool to describe emotions because the leave room to change and aren’t black and white like words. Metaphors allow space for nuance. Some of the Psalms that have given voice to otherwise incommunicable emotions are Psalm 13, 42, 77, 88, 107 and more.
The Psalms also give us confidence to bring our ‘darkest’ questions and doubts to God in all honesty. The reality is that God is big enough to take all of our questions. The Psalms encourage the Lord’s people to voice their pain and to take it to the Lord. Christians shouldn’t be afraid to use strong language that the Bible uses, as they cry out to the Lord in pain. I would encourage you to spend some time in the Psalms, that marvellous hymnbook of the Bible, and start using the biblical words that the Lord has given us to communicate our emotions well. The words have been given, you just need to use them.