When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul (Psalm 94:19)
The image above, a heart on fire, is often used to describe someone's passion for the Gospel. I also can see that the cares, concerns, and struggles of our heart can also be described as a heart on fire. In this instance, our hearts are consumed with pain and suffering; the kind of heartache that seems will never burn out. This can lead us, also with great passion, to wish pain and suffering on those who have wronged us.
The psalmist writes these words in this kind of context. The psalm is a calling forth of God's vengeance on those who have wronged the people. The psalm is explicit in calling for God "wipe them out of their wickedness."
I often share with others that feelings are neither good nor bad; they simply are. What we do with these feelings and the actions we take in response to them, however, is what we are called to consider in our discipleship.
I don't believe going to God honestly with these kind of feelings is wrong. It is actually a very human reaction, one that I am sure God understands. Still, the reconciling nature and compassionate love of God will console our hearts and lead us toward a love of enemy that seems both counter-intuitive and counter-cultural. Yet, it marks the path of Jesus.
And as we move beyond these moments of pain and hurt, with the Lord's guidance and strength, then our hearts on fire with consuming pain and hatred are turned to hearts on fire for the amazing grace and healing work of Christ.
Consoling God, turn us from our pain and lead us toward love. Amen.