Do you ever have those days you are just angry at God? I do!
There were a lot of things in my life that I used to be ashamed to admit. Being in ministry, I was ashamed that there are certain sins I just had a really hard time kicking. I struggled often with my attitudes towards others in the church (and community), but I was most ashamed when I got angry and blamed God for the circumstances in my life (even those times it was my own fault).
Over the years I have come to realize that I am not alone in those feelings. Job got angry at God, so did Jonah. I am pretty confident that if we look deep enough into the lives of most people they have had their angry, why did you do that to me, it’s all your fault kind of days. Truth is, it is probably a pretty common occurrence, but we don’t like to admit it. The real problem isn’t getting angry with God – it’s how do we react when we get angry with God.
Let’s start with me! I am still learning how to handle those situations where the world feels like it is closing in and I want to lash out at God. There have been times my reaction was one of pure rebellion. Okay Lord, if you are going to allow me to go through all this, then I might as well live in rebellion anyway. I am going to do d___-well as I please. I found out that approach doesn’t work very well. You heard the phrase, “things have gone to hell in a hand basket?” That is the usual result of shaking my fist and rebelling against God.
Then there is the Polyanna approach. This too will pass, I just need to ride it out and put it in God’s hands. That sounds really good and we pay a lot of lip service to “I just turned that over to God…,” but I am not so sure that our lips and heart are attune with one another when we make those statements. I can’t judge others, but what I really believe is, “if I ignore it, maybe it will go away.” It doesn’t!
So what do we do when life is hard, the deck is stacked against us and we feel forsaken and abandoned by God. Are you ready for this little gem of wisdom? We wade through muck and mire of life learning as we go. Sometimes we repeat the same mistakes, other times we make new ones, but we are learning. Learning reliance on God, learning that through bad situation after bad situation – God is still there on the back end of it all. (I know he is with us through it all, but it sometimes feels like he appears at the end saying, “see I told you it would all be alright”).
Yes, we should pray. Yes, we need to lean towards God and trust in times of doubt. Yes, our faith needs to be stronger and we need to study his word – but these posts are about stuff we all feel and experience. I wish I could tell you that during those times I am angry at God I stop and pray, or read the Psalms or do some other noble and godly thing – but truth is I just struggle.
Why would I share these moments of weak faith – because there are people who look through the windows of my life say, “I wish my faith was as strong as yours,” or “you just don’t understand how bad things are for me…” I do! I really do! And here is that little gem I didn’t share earlier – God knows too. Sometimes he reveals Himself in the middle of the crisis, sometimes he shows Himself when I am curled up, wallowing in my own self-pity.
Yep, I have been angry for a couple of days now. I have wanted to shake my fist at heaven and blame the cares of the world on anyone but me, but the truth is – The Lord is in His Holy Temple and always will be.
Thank you Lord for being present, even in those times I reject it, miss it, and rebel against it.