I’m angry at God….
I only just recently admitted that to myself. I’ve been in a funk for the better part of three months and I couldn’t quite figure out why. I felt out of sorts, restless, upset. Somewhere deep inside me, I knew I was fiercely avoiding something. For a while I continued to do my Bible studies, though begrudgingly, but then eventually, I just stopped. I stopped praying…… I just halted my spiritual life.
I knew I was avoiding something, I could FEEL it, but I wouldn’t admit what that something was. All I knew was that I didn’t want to deal with it or address it in any way. Instead, I spent my summer trying to keep busy and ignore the issue… but it was there the whole time, just sitting over there in the corner waving at me, wondering why I wasn’t addressing it. No one knew I was going through this…
Season? Period? Crisis?
I couldn’t even name what it was that I was going through. To the outside world, I was the same as I’ve always been. I was perfectly fine, completely together, completely committed to my faith. But the truth was: I wasn’t. It’s not that I ever doubted the existence of God or that I completely walked away from Him. It was more like when you’re really upset with someone and you just need some time and space, so you walk away for a while. You don’t leave them, you’re just not right next to them.
I recently read an advanced copy of Annie F. Downs’ new book, Remember God and that’s when the realization hit me. Remember God finds Annie questioning whether God is always kind. We know He is all powerful, we know He is good, but is He truly always kind? (Side note: Remember God is a stunningly honest, beautiful book in which Annie allows herself to be truly vulnerable and raw with the reader about her relationship with God. It’s the best book I’ve read this year, and I average 100 books a year.)
That was my issue. I wasn’t so sure that God was truly kind all of the time. Did He answer our prayers all of the time? Did He even listen to them all of the time? Because I wasn’t really feeling like He did. The answer is, of course He is always kind. Of course He always listens to us, even if we don’t feel like He does. And yes, He answers our prayers. We may not feel like He’s answering our prayers simply because we’re not getting the answer we want, which is exactly why I was feeling the way I was. I wasn’t getting what I wanted, so I was angry.
I wanted the pain to go away. I wanted to be healed. I wanted to stop having to deal with the endless symptoms of an autoimmune disease. I wanted to stop dealing with the pain and issues from the brain trauma I had suffered over a decade ago. I wanted to move forward with my life. I wanted to land that job. I wanted to feel adequate enough to finish writing that book. I wanted to be financially stable. I wanted…
I’ve learned that sometimes we don’t get what we want from God….. But we get what we need, when we need it. It may not be when WE THINK we need it, but it will be when GOD KNOWS we need it. And my goodness is it beautiful when it happens. When you can look back and see, ah yes, that was from Him and gracious did I NEED that right then. It’s amazing how clearly things become when you’ve gotten a good distance from them. You realize that in fact, you didn’t really need that thing you thought you did right then, that maybe you weren’t ready for it. You can see that God actually did come through, maybe not in a big way, but more often, in many small ways that add up to something incredible.
I was angry at God because ultimately I was scared. I was scared that He wasn’t hearing me or that I wasn’t hearing and understanding Him. I was scared that I had been abandoned. I was scared that I had no future. I was scared that nothing was ever going to work out. I was scared that I’d never hear from God again. I was just scared and you know what scared people do? They run.
I ran from God and tried to hide away and ignore the hurt and the questions. I was scared by my own uncertainty about God. I thought I had dealt with all of this already. Didn’t I climb that mountain already? Didn’t I already wrestle through and come out strong in my faith? How could I possibly still have questions and be uncertain about God’s character?! The truth of the matter is, we’re always going to have questions that want answers, and it’s ok to question God. David questioned God, Moses questioned God, and you can too. I’m no theologian, but I’m pretty sure God would rather you go to Him with questions, than walk away from Him. After all, we’re allowed to ask our earthly fathers questions, why can’t we ask our heavenly Father?
I’m not guaranteeing that you’ll get all the answers you want from Him, in fact you probably won’t. I can tell you with absolute certainty, that by going to Him with your questions, you’ll come out with a deeper faith and relationship with Him. After all, the deepest relationships generally come after struggling, wrestling, and leaning into the problems, the questions, and the uncertainties. I’m speaking from experience. Coming out of a really hard, scary, painful season filled with uncertainty, once I finally went to God with my questions, my hopes, my hurts, my pain, my uncertainties, I could feel the turn around. That’s when things changed. That’s when my relationship with God changed. It’s deeper, we’re closer. I’m not scared or angry anymore.
I still don’t have all the answers I want. I still don’t have everything I want in life. But what I DO have is a fresh certainty about who God is and what He will do. I know that he will chase and pursue me Every. Single. Time I walk away. This time He did it in the only way He could have done it, by placing a book by an author I absolutely love in my hands. He didn’t give me what I wanted, but He gave me what I needed. Reassurance.
I didn’t know that that was what I needed. He did. Because God IS all knowing. God IS all powerful. God does hear me. And yes, because God IS kind.
For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord! - Psalm 117:2
Born and raised in Upstate NY, Liz is a freelance writer. She has written for websites, blogs, and magazines for the last 10 years. She also acts as a proofreader and beta reader for several authors, all the while working on her first book.